| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 334, 21 December 2009
Welcome to the final issue of DistroWatch Weekly in 2009! It is fascinating to see how Linux is used in real-world situations, where it often proves to be an outstanding solution at very little cost. This week's feature article presents SheevaPlug, a $99 mini-computer not much larger than an electric plug. Inside it, there is an ARM-based processor, some RAM, and a Flash storage device - just enough for a creative geek to set it up as a low-cost MythTV server with Debian GNU/Linux. Read on to find out more about this unusual system. In the news section, Mark Shuttleworth announces that he will step down as the CEO of Canonical early next year, Mandriva announces a new edition of its Linux operating system that boots in less than 10 seconds, Omega releases a Fedora remix that includes multimedia codecs and other conveniences not shipped in Fedora itself, and Linux Mint has good news for those who prefer the project's fast and lightweight edition with Fluxbox. Also not to be missed, a link to an interview with openSUSE community manager Joe Brockmeier and a look at the current state of Linux Standard Base. As always, happy reading and see you all in 2010!
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|Feature Story (by Patrick Van Oosterwijck)
SheevaPlug - a Debian home server in a wall-wart
Personally I have always been interested in unusual hardware. Coming from a background in electronics, I tend to find "standard" computer hardware rather boring and always like to experiment with stuff that is off the beaten path. So I was thrilled when I found out about the Linux-powered Marvell SheevaPlug and ordered one right away from GlobalScale Technologies for only US$99. My intended project was replacing my ageing and power-hungry home server with this tiny, power-saving device.
The SheevaPlug (pictured on the left) is an ARM-based computer with a 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 512 MB of Flash memory, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB host connector, all rolled into the tiny form factor of a wall-wart power adapter. It is offered as a development kit in the hope that developers will find cool things to do with it and jump start a new concept called "plug computing". Since its introduction, several web sites have sprung up that provide valuable information to get it up and running for a variety of applications.
Installing Linux on a device like this is nothing like the standard pop-in-a-CD-and-go install process we are accustomed to when installing Linux on a normal PC. For one thing, there is no local user interface in the form of a monitor and keyboard. There is also no CD drive, and the device has no BIOS, instead it has a powerful open-source boot-loader called U-Boot that is quite famous in embedded systems circles.
The SheevaPlug comes with a stripped-down Ubuntu already pre-installed on the Flash drive and, for many uses as a standard file or web server, this may be just fine. But I use my home server as a MythTV backend, and I was surprised to find that the pre-installed Ubuntu does not have any kernel modules installed. This caused my USB TV tuner not to be recognized. I might have been able to hack in the right modules, but since I was going to add an external USB hard drive to store network backups and recorded TV shows anyway, I decided to leave the Ubuntu installation on the Flash drive alone and install a Debian system on the USB hard drive instead.
In case someone would like to install a fresh Ubuntu, it is worth noting that the ARM edition of Ubuntu 9.10 is not compatible with the SheevaPlug processor. Ubuntu 9.10 uses the ARMv6+VFP instruction set, while the SheevaPlug processor can only handle ARMv5 instructions. As far as I know, every other distro with an ARM branch should work though, as does Ubuntu 9.04.
A quick note on running a MythTV backend on the SheevaPlug. While the SheevaPlug has a processor that is quite capable of handling many server-related workloads, it is missing a floating point unit which causes media encoding performance to be pretty poor. In my setup, I only receive over-the-air HDTV, and the incoming MPEG2 stream can be dumped straight to the hard drive without requiring extra encoding. If you were to try to make MythTV on a SheevaPlug record analog TV though, the results would likely be very poor, since the SheevaPlug doesn't have the muscle to handle the required encoding in real time. As always, use the right tool for the task. In my case, not requiring additional encoding, the SheevaPlug handles the backend tasks for both playback of recorded shows and live TV playback with time-shifting just fine.
After I had already started this project, I found out that there are different ways to install Debian on the SheevaPlug that are probably easier than what I did, but since I didn't use them, I can't comment on them here. Instead I followed the manual bootstrapping procedure described here which is probably harder, but worked well for me nonetheless. The initial step needs to be performed on a different machine that is already running Debian. I didn't follow the procedure to the letter but made some changes to customize my system. For one thing, instead of Debian "unstable", I decided to install Debian "testing". It has a kernel that is recent enough to support my TV tuner (an ATI TV Wonder 600 USB, well supported under Linux), and it is more stable than Debian's "unstable" branch.
I customized /etc/hostname, /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/fstab to fit my network and system. I decided to partition the USB hard drive to have an ext3 system partition, a 1 GB swap partition and use the rest of the drive as a JFS file system that would hold network storage, backups and MythTV recordings. I chose the lesser known JFS file system because it deals well with the large files generated by MythTV and it is well know to be light on CPU usage, a marked advantage for a low-end system like this one. I decided to skip some of the read-only-root recommendations listed in the procedure since I was not using a Flash storage device but a real hard drive.
With my hard drive now set up with the first stage of the bootstrap system, it was time to hook it up to the SheevaPlug and give it a spin. Since I needed to hook up both a USB hard drive and a USB tuner, I had to add an external USB hub to split the one USB connection on the SheevaPlug into four. I do wish the manufacturer would have included a USB hub in the SheevaPlug hardware so more than just one USB connector would be available, but alas, an external hub does the trick.
The SheevaPlug has no connection for a screen, instead the initial console is accessed through a separate USB device connection that provides a virtual serial port. In fact, two virtual serial ports are provided through this connection: one provides JTAG connectivity for very low-level debugging, the other one provides a serial console at 115,200 bps. On a Linux system, these virtual serial ports can be accessed as /dev/ttyUSBx devices, and the serial console ends up being the second device. An inconvenience is that these devices only appear after the SheevaPlug is powered up, so you have to be fast in making your serial terminal connection once the devices appear to be able to stop the automatic bootloader in time.
The SheevaPlug (white) on top of an external USB hard drive (black) and a TV tuner plugged into a USB hub
(full image size: 1,063kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
After changing the bootloader parameters according to the directions in the procedure, I booted and reached a Bash prompt where I could run the second stage of the bootstrap process and the remaining setup. Besides the regular Debian package sources, I also added the debian-multimedia.org repository and was pleasantly surprised how well stocked their ARM repository is. Debian proper has an excellent reputation when it comes to supporting different architectures, but I hadn't expected this to extend to third-party repositories. A MythTV package for ARM was readily available, saving me the lengthy compile-cycle I had been expecting.
Still, I wasn't able to escape compiling entirely. I ran into trouble getting the USB tuner to work, although it is supposed to work just fine under Linux. The kernel always failed to load the firmware, although I had added it according to the instructions, and the kernel could find the file just fine, but then would error out trying to add a duplicate device node. Plugging the tuner in to my netbook running sidux, it worked just fine out of the box. This had me stumped for a while, but eventually I traced the problem down to a difference in how the Debian ARM and x86 kernels are configured. The ARM kernel has an option set to have the I2C device file system compiled into the kernel, while this is a module in the x86 kernel. The USB tuner uses components that connect to each other using the I2C bus, and both the I2C device file system and the TV tuner driver were trying to create device nodes for these components. I solved the issue by having APT download the kernel sources, copying the standard kernel configuration from the /boot directory, changing this troublesome option and recompiling the kernel.
I finished my system by using apt-get to install SSH, Samba, SWAT, MySQL, MythTV, rsync and probably some other stuff I forgot. How to set all these up is beyond the scope of this article and works pretty much the same as on any other Debian system, so plenty of information is available. The only thing that is unusual and that may confuse people is how to run mythtv-setup, since this is a Qt program and the SheevaPlug has no native GUI interface. The answer is that you can use ssh -X <hostname> to log in to the SheevaPlug with port forwarding, and then when you run mythtv-setup, the user interface will be exported to the machine you're logging in from.
MythTV playing IceAge 2
(full image size: 1,046kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
This write-up was intended as a very high-level review of my experience setting up this unusual system, and is by no means a step-by-step walkthrough. There is plenty of detailed information available online on websites such as plugcomputer.org and computingplugs.com that can prove invaluable to get things working on the SheevaPlug. As remarked before, the system is sold as a developer's kit and setting it up is definitely not for the faint of heart or for those who avoid the terminal like the plague. In the end, I had a lot of fun getting this to work and the system is working beautifully. I learned a lot in the process and am amazed yet again at how flexible Debian is as an operating system for just about any computer, even embedded systems like this one.
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About the author. Patrick Van Oosterwijck is an embedded software developer who in his professional life spends most of his days designing embedded systems and writing software for micro-controllers, usually on bare-metal devices without operating systems. His interest in Linux started about six years ago and since then he has experimented with everything from SuSE and Ubuntu to Gentoo and Buildroot. The last couple of years he has worked on several projects that apply Linux to embedded systems running on x86, Blackfin and ARM processors.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Management changes at Canonical, Mandriva "InstantOn" and "Moblin" editions, Omega Fedora Remix with media codecs, Linux Mint "Fluxbox", interview with openSUSE's Joe Brockmeier
Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, has announced his resignation from the position of CEO of Canonical, effective March 2010: "From March next year, I'll focus my Canonical energy on product design, partnerships and customers. Those are the areas that I enjoy most and also the areas where I can best shape the impact we have on open source and the technology market. I'm able to do this because Jane Silber, who has been COO at Canonical virtually from the beginning, will take on the job of CEO." The new CEO, Jane Silber (pictured on the right), has been with the company for over five years. A brief interview on Canonical blogs tells us more about her background: "I am currently Chief Operating Officer and Director of Online Services. I joined Canonical in 2004, and since then have been closely involved in the establishment and management of most Canonical functions. I have a technical background and started my career as a software developer, and have since held engineering and senior management positions at companies as diverse as a health and wellness promotion start-up, a large technology and manufacturing company in Japan, and the US defence contractor General Dynamics. I am American, and came to the UK in 2002 to complete an MBA at Oxford."
* * * * *
The developers and community contributors of Mandriva seem to have been rather busy recently, with two new products announced last week. The first of them is called "Mandriva InstantOn", an operating system for netbooks and other mobile devices with boot times of "less than 10 seconds": "Mandriva is proud to announce its brand new environment for mobile devices - Mandriva InstantOn. Mandriva InstantOn comes from OEM specific developments and is available now from our online store, from only €9.90€ (US$14.90). Dump it on a CD or USB key, install in a few clicks and you are ready to use it. InstantOn ideally fits to mobile devices such as netbooks, laptops and MIDs. It can connect to Internet everywhere using a very easy and efficient network manager." Mandriva InstantOn includes the usual application for the Internet, such as Mozilla Firefox (with Flash and Java plugins), Mozilla Thunderbird, Skype and Pidgin, and it requires just 256 MB of memory and 1.4 GB of disk space. The second Mandriva product announced last week is a community initiative, an experimental Mandriva Moblin live CD, which is available for free download: "Thomas Lottmann is providing experimental Mandriva-based Moblin live CD images. Theses images are provided in order to help testing Mandriva Moblin implementation."
* * * * *
The Fedora distribution, as a proponent of free software, doesn't ship with any proprietary components or patent-encumbered media codecs. Although it isn't difficult to add these extras post-install from third-party repositories, for those who would prefer an even easier option, there is Omega Fedora Remix: "Omega is a completely free and open source Linux-based operating system and a Fedora remix suitable for desktop and laptop users. It is an installable live image (1.3 GB) for regular PC (i686 architecture) systems. It has all the features of Fedora and a number of additional software, including multimedia players and codecs enabled by default. Omega plays any multimedia content (including MP3) or commercial DVDs out of the box. Features: simple and effective GNOME desktop environment; plays MP3 and all your multimedia content; OpenOffice.org office suite; extra utilities and games; xine and MPlayer frontends; includes the latest updates. Omega is 100% compatible with Fedora, only including packages from Fedora, RPM Fusion and Livna software repositories." The live DVD image is available for download from here: Omega-12-i686-Live.iso (1,230MB, SHA256).
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Good news for the fans of lighter variants of Linux Mint - the Fluxbox community edition has been resurrected and the first development build of the upcoming version 8 should be available shortly: "The Fluxbox community edition produced releases for Linux Mint 5 'Elyssa' and Linux Mint 6 'Felicia' and it became quite popular among Linux Mint users. But in 2009, due to personal circumstances Shane Joe Lazar, the maintainer of this edition, had to focus his attention elsewhere and so the Fluxbox CE was discontinued. During the release cycle for Linux Mint 7 'Gloria', no Fluxbox edition was released. Kendall Weaver recently stepped up from the community and worked on a new Fluxbox edition of Linux Mint. We had a conversation and I got the opportunity to test his preliminary ISOs. Today, I'm happy to welcome him within the development team as the new maintainer of the Fluxbox Community Edition. His vision of the Fluxbox edition is a bit different and he's interested in replacing some of the most popular software in order to make it even lighter. He's already started to interact with the community on the forums and he will be getting the help and support of the development team.".
* * * * *
Finally, a brief extract from an interview with Joe Brockmeier, the openSUSE community manager, as published last week at H Open: "Q: You have said that openSUSE 11.2 is not necessarily suited to new users but is more attuned to the needs of developers with a degree of experience. Why is this so and what kind of functionalities would an experienced software engineer new to SUSE recognise that would let them know they are working with a more sophisticated product? A: I would say it's not necessarily suited to all new users and is very well attuned to needs of developers. What many openSUSE users come back for again and again is the well-integrated selection of development environments and tools on openSUSE. Whether a developer is working with C/C++, Java, Mono/.NET, Python, Ruby, PHP, or whatever - openSUSE is up-to-date with a solid stack of development tools." The well-known openSUSE personality also predicts some interesting developments in the new year, especially in the mobile devices arena: "I think 2010 is going to be crucial for Linux on client devices. To be honest, I don't see it making huge inroads to the 'traditional' consumer desktop, but I do see big changes coming on the netbook, thin client and mobile devices. Linux and open platforms have an opportunity to rule the roost here."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
LSB - does it matter?
Wondering-about-standards asks: LSB, does it matter? Does it help? Do all the major distros adhere?
DistroWatch answers: The Linux Standard Base (I'm assuming that's what you mean by LSB) is an effort by the Linux Foundation and a number of distributions. The idea behind the Linux Standard Base is that there are a lot of Linux distributions and a lot of differences between most of them. This situation makes it difficult for software developers to create applications which will run on all the various Linux systems. The Linux Standard Base (LSB) lays down some guidelines to help make distributions more compatible with each other. The hope is that a common base will make things easier for application developers and make the Linux operating system a more inviting platform.
In theory, this is a good idea. As an end-user, I often find myself frustrated because an application will run fine on my distro, version X, but not on version Y. Or, perhaps, another application will work on distro A, but not on distro B. It's also frustrating, as a developer, discovering the many incompatibilities between various distributions and all the little patches or tweaks required to get software working on multiple flavours of Linux. And those quirks don't begin to address the many different package managers and package formats. The LSB tries to smooth out those wrinkles.
But in practice, does it really make a difference? If we look at this list of compliant distributions or this list, both maintained by the Linux Standard Base, we'll see a few interesting things. Some of the big players (Mandriva, Novell, Red Hat and Ubuntu) are on the list. Other big names (Debian, Fedora and Slackware) are not. It's also obvious that either the lists are well out of date or just about all the distributions have dropped LSB in the past two years. I suspect the former. It's also curious to note that despite the lack of certain big names on the lists, the LSB web site claims, "Luckily all major distribution vendors are certified to the LSB." I suppose it depends on how you define "major" and "vendor".
Does LSB help? According to the information at the bottom of this page, a total of four companies have certified their applications through LSB in the past eight years. I'd say the answer is pretty clear: LSB is a good idea, but there doesn't seem to be an effort to engage the community. There hasn't been a strong effort to get their message out there or keep their site up to date. Sadly, this idea seems to be fading away faster than it is gaining support.
|Released Last Week
Untangle Gateway 7.1
Untangle Gateway 7.1 has been released. Untangle is a Debian-based network gateway with pluggable modules for network applications like spam blocking, web filtering, anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, VPN, SSL VPN and firewall. From the release announcement: "We are pleased to announce broad availability of our latest version, Untangle 7.1, which includes a host of new features and improvements: hierarchical policy management - managing multiple policies is now much more productive, with much less task repetition; automated sessions ending - sessions are now automatically ended is the user's policy changes at a point in time; safe search - Esoft web filter can now enforce safe search for popular search engines, such as Google; password override - administrators can now allow for block pages to be bypassed using a password...."
Absolute Linux 13.0.5
Paul Sherman has released Absolute Linux 13.0.5, an updated version of the Slackware-based distribution featuring the lightweight IceWM window manager: "Absolute Linux 13.0.5 released. Monthly minor release cycle? Primarily security updates (kernel, GIMP, Firefox, BIND, etc.). Also removed Brasero (CD burning) as it is too dependent upon GNOME and switched to a simpler Xfburn. It has a few Xfce-related dependencies but these are small and they also allow easier development for users if they want to use the libraries. You may also notice that wxGTK libraries are in the base install, used by the CHM help viewer and also support Audacity, now compiled and sitting on CD2 in the multimedia folder." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
kademar Linux 4.9.1
Adonay Sanz Alsina has announced the release of kademar Linux 4.9.1, a Debian-based desktop distribution and live CD/DVD with support for the Catalan language and some custom configuration tools. Some of the changes in this version include: major improvements in the PulseAudio sound server; ext4 as the default file system; NetworkManager applet replaced by wicd; new CADI module for configuring multimedia keyboards; Linux kernel 22.214.171.124 compiled for the i686 architecture and with NVIDIA proprietary kernel module version 185.18.36; system installer improvements with initial support for GRUB 2 bootloader, a console-mode installation option, various improvements in graphical interface and corrections in the Catalan-language translations. Read the full release announcement (in Spanish) for additional notes.
Tiny Core Linux 2.7
Robert Shingledecker has released of Tiny Core Linux 2.7, a minimalist Linux distribution in only 10 megabytes: "Tiny Core Linux 2.7 is now posted. The theme for 2.7 is to make Tiny Core and Micro Core easier to use by promoting a single extension installation method (mount) while still supporting copy into file system. Change log: updated appbrowser - single 'Install' button and renamed 'Download Only' to 'OnDemand'; updated appsaudit - new menu option 'Install Options' to maintain copy2fs.flg and copy2fs.lst; new ondemand - create flwm right-click menu shortcuts to load and start applications from /tce/optional - tune your system for much faster boot times; updated tce-load - dropped l, m, lm, ml testing, ldconfig always called; stripped more libraries for smaller size, now at 10.1 MB...." for additional details please see the full changelog.
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0r1
Alan Baghumian has announced the availability of the first revision of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0, a desktop distribution and live CD based on Debian's testing branch: "The first update of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0 is available for immediate download. This version merges all security and bug-fix updates. Also, a bug in installer that prevented detection of other installed operating systems has been fixed. Parsix 3.0 brings a vast amount of new features, like GNOME 2.26.3, brand new kernel based on Linux 126.96.36.199 with extra patches and drivers, updated installer that supports separate /home partition, ext4 file system and GRUB 2. In other news, Parsix 3.5 repositories are up and running and all community users are welcome to start testing and using it. The final release is planned for March 2010." Here is the brief release announcement.
Parted Magic 4.7
Patrick Verner has released Parted Magic 4.7, a small live CD with a collection of hard disk partitioning, hardware testing and data rescue tools. What's new? "Parted Magic 4.7 adds and removes some programs and fixes a few bugs. Key changes: Partclone 0.1.9 was added again despite Clonezilla being removed, people still wanted to use it from the command line; Xfburn and libburnia are replaced by SimpleBurn and cdrtools; LXMusic 0.4.0 was added with a very limited xmms2 build; util-linux is replaced by util-linux-ng; Firefox is replaced by Google Chrome (official beta version); Linux kernel is updated to 188.8.131.52 with Squashfs and LZMA compression; a mistake in the kernel configuration was fixed and Broadcom wireless drivers work again; some major problems were fixed in the wireless scripts; lsof 4.78, workman 1.3.4, hddtemp 0.3-beta15 were added." The full release announcement can be found on the project's home page.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Jolicloud. Jolicloud is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for netbooks. It is geared towards extreme user-friendliness so that any computer user can install it with just one click. Besides the standard ISO image, the distribution is also provided as a Windows executable file which can resize an existing Windows partition and install Jolicloud as an alternative operating system. Other Jolicloud features include heavy orientation towards web application and services, online backup option, web-based software installation interface, inclusion of proprietary hardware drivers and non-free media codecs, and extensive social networking features.
Jolicloud Pre-Beta - a user-friendly, Ubuntu-based distribution for the cloud computing era
(full image size: 62kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
- Masonux. Masonux is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. As such, it is suitable for computers with as little as 256 MB of memory. While in its default state it only contains a base system and a few popular applications, Masonux is fully compatible with Ubuntu and additional software can be easily installed from Ubuntu repositories using the standard package management tools.
Masonux 9.10 Beta 2 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with LXDE
(full image size: 1,055kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- NeDiO. NeDiO (NeDi on OpenBSD) is a highly optimised OpenBSD CD image providing everything to install a self-contained NeDi appliance. At mere 85 MB, it includes an SSL web server with PHP (used by the frontend), MySQL and Perl (for the backend).
- Viper OS. Viper OS is a desktop Linux distribution - a remastered build of Ubuntu with a new wallpaper and dark GNOME theme.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This is the last issue of DistroWatch Weekly in 2009. To all our faithful readers, the DistroWatch Weekly team wishes you peaceful end-of-the-year holidays and a very happy and prosperous new year. See you again on Monday, 4 January 2010!
Ladislav Bodnar, Jesse Smith, Caitlyn Martin and Susan Linton
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Thanks for another wonderful year of 'DistroWatch Weekly'... (by JKS_in_VA at 2009-12-21 09:06:31 GMT from United States) |
Just wanted to say THANK YOU to ALL who contributed to 'DistroWatch Weekly' this year and YES, the future of Linux shines brightly in my humble opinion! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or however DistroWatch Staff and Readers celebrate this time of the year to ALL! May everyone's New Year be HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, and filled with Linux Distros! (Or BSD, etc.)
2 • Plugcomputer (by Michael at 2009-12-21 10:31:55 GMT from Germany)
>setting it up is definitely not for the faint of heart or for those who avoid the terminal like the plague<
Easier for the average end-user should be the tonidoplug (http://www.tonidoplug.com/) - also sheevaplug based, but with peinstalled Ubuntu and a nice interface that can be accessed via another browser in the network.
I haven't tried it myself though, as prices for shipping to Europe are too high imho (compared to the price for the device itself).
3 • More about Sheevaplug (by Henrique Rodrigues on 2009-12-21 10:50:25 GMT from Portugal)
I also bought a Sheevaplug and it's now running Gentoo beautifully. One other thing you can do with it is install a VNC server, like TigerVNC, and access a graphical session on the Sheevaplug. You don't even need xorg, TigerVNC (and maybe others) will suffice.
4 • Requirements of linux distros (by Joao Candeias on 2009-12-21 10:51:54 GMT from Portugal)
I want to give you the suggestion to add the requirements to run each distro in the respective specifications page (http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=distro) as you do with the sofware.
5 • Ho Ho Ho (by the doc on 2009-12-21 13:45:39 GMT from Australia)
Thanks to all the staff at DW for a great year.
Controversies, breakouts, resolutions, subjective, objective, frothing fanbois, biased and not. :)
It's all happening here.
Great job guys:
Happy New Year
6 • Thanks ... (by Joshua Chan on 2009-12-21 14:06:00 GMT from Singapore)
I stayed back in office every Monday (Singapore time) evening, just to catch the freshly baked DistroWatch Weekly. It is like the morning coffee, a must have.
7 • LSB (by Chris on 2009-12-21 14:33:04 GMT from United States)
LSB is what Linux really truly needs for wide spread adoption. I find myself so frustrated that software is often only available as tarballs, outdated binaries, or the wrong binary for my system (yes, I can and have used alien to convert RPMs to DEBs but that's a hassle not for the common user).
If LSB worked as intended, perhaps we would start seeing files, i.e. firefox.lsb or chrome.lsb, that would install universally on Debian and Red Hat systems.
I don't think that hardware vendors will embrace Linux fully until software is worked out. Unfortunately, people demand choice but they want it simplified. Vendors don't want to fight that issue and stick with Windows (and a phone call from Gates doesn't hurt either).
8 • SheevaPlug - Good Idea, but hardware... (by rec9140 on 2009-12-21 15:29:43 GMT from United States)
is holding it back... Just like the BeagleBoard(s) and similar units which all lack floating point support, thus they can not run most of the encoding software such as DarkIce to do some tasks these units would be perfect for be it the plug or Beagle type boards...
The Beagle type boards add what the Plug units don't audio and some other interfacing on board.
To get the needed floating point hadware requires going to the EPIAH and the uITX, uATX units which also have spotty Linux support.
I just looked at using the Plug and Beagle type units for a specific project, but the inability of the boards to run floating point based software killed any hope for them. Thus the much higher cost EPIAH/uITX/uATX boards will be required.
9 • Re:6-Thanks (by Equimanthorn on 2009-12-21 15:30:47 GMT from Italy)
In Italy (italian time) DWW is like a perfect espresso coffe after the launchtime.
Thanks for all to all the staff !
Merry Xmas !!!
10 • Happy Holidays! and Thanks to the DistroWatch crew (by Verndog at 2009-12-21 15:43:54 GMT from United States)
Talking about ending the year with a bang! What a great DistroWatch year ending. I love the hardware review of SheevaPlug. What a refreshing idea. It was a great read.
Thanks for all your efforts here at DistroWatch, and all the food for thought that has been presented, through reviews and comments.
Be safe, have a happy holiday and hope to see all of you next year.
11 • Might want to check out TonidoPlug (by dyno on 2009-12-21 16:01:01 GMT from United States)
One might want to check out TonidoPlug as well. It has apps for torrent download, backup pc's , file sharing and slue of other apps. It runs ubuntu 9.04.. so you can install other apps as well.
They have a web interface to reflash the plug and instructions to boot the plug from external usb instead of internal flash (http://www.tonido.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=312).
12 • LSB (by Landor at 2009-12-21 16:01:10 GMT from Canada)
#7 Echoed my thoughts exactly and a major reason for LSB that you missed out on, Jesse.
That is a massive drawback for OEMs and Hardware Vendors. It's nice that Debian has 100 Billion Gazillion Dollars, I mean Packages :), but as said, why convert packages back and forth between formats? Without a standard base, and standard packaging (this would start a who's best war for sure) OEMs are stuck looking at things and thinking, "umm yeah".
This also falls back to the same argument not long ago about too much choice, and it's correct. Maybe not for so many flavours, but too much choice when it comes down to the standardised base and packages.
Keep your stick on the ice...
13 • LSB (by rec9140 on 2009-12-21 16:19:58 GMT from United States)
LSB is a great idea, and what Linux needs if its every going to move to a more widespread use on the desktop, especially in the personal area..
Consumers do not care one bit about libs, compilers etc... They want to download and install, and move on. Corporate installs are a little more forgiving, as most of the work on hardware is done elsewhere by more tech inclined persons.
Unfortunately, LSB is exactly what most in the Linux want to avoid, thus no one will move to it. Each and every distro operates in its own little environment akin to being their own little fifedom.
The concept of a Linux Inc. brings out the evangelicals for and against.
Linux is the kernel, and thats it won't cut it in 2009, er 2010, but thats the road the Linux higherups want to persue.
LSB represents goals that many in the Linux community seem to rail against time and time again, and thus sink its adoption on the desktops it could have easily taken from the whole vista/7 debacle.
Until the hardware installation and the software installation is to the same point as two other OS's, Linux sadly on the majority of personal desktop's is not going to happen, and that seems to be by design by some who could easily use their position to fix it. cough, canoncial, cough.
14 • Hardware installation (by Duhnonymous at 2009-12-21 16:47:08 GMT from United States)
Yeah, just try running your Mac OS on any kind of hardware and see how far you get. As for Windows, you want that 5 year old hardware to work? Ain't gonna happen. You get back on your upgrade treadmill, peasant.
Linux already gives you the best compatibility with all hardware. Honestly, Mac and Windows are what are *not ready* for being a personal desktop. The reason they are popular is because of fanatics who refuse to acknowledge the facts and illegal monopolistic tactics.
15 • RE: 11 and SheevaPlug/Tonidoplug (by Landor at 2009-12-21 16:47:35 GMT from Canada)
I hope you and yours have an amazing Christmas as well Verndog.
Just after I spoke about things getting kind of boring in Linux Land an article like this comes up and sets the gears to turning.
I could see this easily being turned into a very small form factor (and energy efficient) HTPC system via a small case where the USB hub resides. More appealing for some is the ability (with some tinkering) to put a USB Wireless Adapter in the case, hacked so you can use an antenna and low and behold you've built a super tiny WAP.
I'm gonna look into one of these. I'll have to look into things again to see how much power and such can be drawn from a single USB. I had similar thoughts for a BeagleBoard but in my opinion something like this would be far better.
Keep your stick on the ice...
16 • @12 Re: LSB (by Jesse at 2009-12-21 16:49:41 GMT from Canada)
Landor, if you go back and look at my comments about LSB, you'll notice that I do mention package formats and package managers in paragraph two.
The thing is, LSB is a good idea, in theory, but it hasn't made much difference in the community to date. Nor is it likely to, the way things are going. For example, LSB tries to push a standard package format, rpm, but most Debian-based distributions aren't going to embrace rpm packages. Again, in theory, Alien converts packages between formats, but in practice it doesn't work so well. The packages have to use a certain version and match a certain base standard and the moon has to be in the right phase, etc.
Frankly, charging for package certification isn't likely to win many free software converts either.
This is something I'd love to be proved wrong about, I'd like the LSB to take off and unite the major Linux distros and have more ISV embrace Linux. But it doesn't seem too likely from where I sit.
17 • @2,11, @8, @15 (by Patrick on 2009-12-21 17:18:55 GMT from United States)
@2, 11 I was not aware of the TonidoPlug, looks very interesting indeed to make setup easier. And for the same price as the dev kit! Looks like someone did take the idea and made it useful for the general population. Thanks for the info!
@8 Indeed the SheevaPlug would not be great for encoding, but I find it odd that you say the BeagleBoard has the same problem. I haven't played with it myself, but according to http://elinux.org/BeagleBoard#Cortex_A8_ARM_features, the processor on the BeagleBoard has both floating point and SIMD instructions and should handle encoding just fine.
@15 Just to make sure this is clear, the SheevaPlug only runs my MythTV backend that takes care of recording, and not the frontend that plays shows. The SheevaPlug could not be used as a HTPC because it has no video output. A BeagleBoard may work for that since it has video output, but I don't know if decoding would work well enough for HDTV or not (I don't know if the decoders are customized to use the SIMD instructions). Anyone?
The reason I use a separate MythTV backend and frontend is just so I don't need to worry about needing to have my PC on to record scheduled shows. The SheevaPlug is perfect as an always-on backend since it takes hardly any power.
As MythTV frontend, I use my Athlon X2 PC, which has an HDMI connection to the TV and a SPDIF connection to the receiver for sound, and a USB IR interface and with LIRC for remote control. It connects to the SheevaPlug backend to get the recorded data.
My backup system is setup to be fully automatic. I know that if I have to do anything myself, it won't happen. ;-) So now, if I want a backup, I just leave my PC on overnight and it will be done. I share my data over NFS and the SheevaPlug runs a little script at 2AM based on the nifty method described here:
18 • DWW (by Warper at 2009-12-21 17:27:40 GMT from United States)
Thank you for another great number of DWW.
To all DW staff and readers: have a Merry Christmas and a very joyful and productive New Year.
Will be eagerly waiting for the first 2010 issue and all the happenings at DW.
Wishing the best for all of you.
19 • SheevaPlug/Tonidoplug (by Anonymous at 2009-12-21 17:39:10 GMT from United States)
I've been waiting for something like this for years but was wanting it to be more of removable external drive bay with a video out for ease of setup. More USB ports would be nice too.
If it had a dual atom core and expandable to 2gb RAM with a mico sd slot on the side it would go beyond my wildest dreams.
It would be a mac mini killer.
20 • End of the Year (by Fernando Gracia on 2009-12-21 18:22:16 GMT from United States)
2009 is coming to end and this year was full of wonderful Linux experiences with my distro hooping, During this year my modest Celeron 1.4 Mhz with 256 of ram and 40 Gb on the Hd hosted several distros from the tiny ones to the full size ones and for me anything that works in my black box is really good. in that way I am ending the 2009 with Pardus 3.0 (excelent) as my main OS, Quimo 1.0 for my grand child and Mepis 8.0 all of them working beautifly every day on my machine. Merry Christmas and I hope next year DW continue providing us with great information. Thanks!
21 • Does Distrowatch need a copy editor? (by Derek at 2009-12-21 18:27:55 GMT from India)
DistroWatch, please proofread!
Parted Magic 2.7 In issue 333 instead of ubuntu 10.04, 9.04 was mentioned(which was later corrected).
Is it really such a tedious process to bring out DWW?
22 • dww (by linux_user on 2009-12-21 18:54:24 GMT from Serbia and Montenegro)
i really liked reading DWW, but now it seems it's all about new distros coming out...could you spice up the dww with more stuff like ...dress up your kde/gnome/xfce/icewm/fluxbox, do the burning from bash, create a bckp script,....
and a word or two about LSB...it's not working
and it can't work with so many distros pushing their own way of things
to many freedom leads to chaos
oh and i like the referance "It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. (Mark Twain)"
but i just can't keep my mouth shut
23 • No subject (by linuser at 2009-12-21 19:03:47 GMT from Portugal)
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to the DW team. Thanks for your excellent and useful site.
Following I'm taking the freedom to mention where I'd like the strongest focus to be placed on next year and future Linux development:
- Perfect hardware detection
- State of the art GUIs
- Excellent FOS audio and video drivers
- Strong compatibility with old hardware
- Universal and simple (one click) software installation mode
24 • To Derek (comment #21) (by Mitch at 2009-12-21 19:45:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow Derek, you found two mistakes in two editions of Distrowatch, that's amazing! With such a brilliant mind, why don't you start a weekly newsletter and do something useful with your days?... Some people...
Anyway, I wish everyone here a happy Christmas! :)
25 • ARM - OMAP aka Beagles and float and encoding (by rec9140 on 2009-12-21 20:23:03 GMT from United States)
The project I was interested in and still am requires floating point support for LAME and Ogg Voribis via the LAME, libogg etc. libs
It was explained to me that the ARM devices do not support the floating point that these libs use, thus they can not handle these encoding duties, and based on the link your providing, the ARM requires specific floating point support of its own v. other arch, which none of the software is written to support or requires use of fixed math.
The OMAP board I preferred had LAN on board, which was another reason the Beagle didn't make first cut.
The better boards I found were:
If there are IGEPV2/OMAP versions of liblame 3.98 or better that will compile to encode for 24bps 22050Khz MP3 and Ogg at 9600 then I would love to hear about them, but DarkIce has stated its a no go due to the libs and float support.
So if there are ARM V8 liblame 3.98+ or libogg etc.. for these then I want to hear about them.
I dropped the plug units as they all require too many appendages to be worth the hassle for the intended project and audience, and lack the interfacing that would be required to either append on or custom cases that the other OMAP devices had.
26 • Merry Christmas to one and all! (by George R. at 2009-12-21 20:26:08 GMT from United States)
Another great year with Distrowatch leading the way for the wide world of Linux users, new and not so new alike! Thanks to everyone throughout the open source community who contributed to the advancement of open source computing in any way this year. Many new products and offerings are now on the table, and the road ahead is more clearly defined in critical areas of endeavor. Certain Linux and BSD offerings have distinguished themselves this year, and much that's currently in the pipeline promises to make 2010 more exciting than anything seen so far. Keep up the great work and we'll see the year to come living up to its bright promise!
27 • @ 16 (by Noel Coward at 2009-12-21 21:19:39 GMT from United States)
The thing is, LSB is a good idea, in theory, but it hasn't made much difference in the community to date. Nor is it likely to, the way things are going.
So all of the software that is written and packaged according to the LSB hasn't made an impact? Or are you just trying to support your subjective opinion by ignoring proprietary software?
28 • LSB (by supportstandards at 2009-12-21 21:22:57 GMT from United States)
Acceptance of LSB, or something like it, is the #1 change I'd like to see in the Linux community.
There are valid arguments against standards, but standards would eventually give non-technical users access to hardware peripherals that we can't use now.
I will be switching to Ubuntu with the next LTS release. Not because it is "best", or even "best for me", but because it has the best chance of setting some kind of a standard for consumers and vendors. I'd like to see Amazon and Newegg product reviews refer to products as "Ubuntu compatible". Not "Linux compatible", which has little practical meaning.
29 • @25 (by Patrick on 2009-12-21 21:58:25 GMT from United States)
Of course the ARM uses its own specific floating point instructions which are different from x86 (every architecture has their own), but the article I linked to says this about the VFP:
"VFPv3 Floating point instruction set (used for single/double precision scalar operations). These is used by gcc for C floating point operations on 'float' and 'double'"
So if the algorithms are developed in C (and I'm sure that Lame and libogg have at least "fallback" version of their algorithms in C, even if they possibly implement optimized x86 versions in assembly), the resulting code would use the VFP instructions when compiled for the correct ARM version and should work fine to do real-time encoding when running at 600MHz+.
You say "It was explained to me", which makes me think this wasn't actually tested. I disagree and think there is a very good chance it would work. Since Ubuntu 9.10 on ARM is compiled to use the VFP, that may be an easy way to test it without too much effort, if one has access to the right hardware.
BTW that looks like a really neat board you linked to. Quite awesome that it has Wifi built-in too! It seems to be using the same micro as the BeagleBoard, so the things I mentioned above should work the same on this board. Now I just need to find a way to justify getting one. :)
On the other hand, I have a Nokia N900 on order which runs on a very similar processor, so maybe I can do a test with real-time audio streaming using Darkice once I get it. Care to share anything about your project? Some kind of network audio streaming system?
30 • RE: Hardware installation (by rec9140 on 2009-12-21 22:08:14 GMT from United States)
As some one who went cold turkey from winslobber to Linux both personally and work wise, and one who is going above and beyond to get my work evironment at the desktop level to be 100% Linux as well I can tell you that NO OS supports all hardware.
I've got plenty of new and old hardware that winslobber won't work on that Linux will and vice versa.
As for OSX, your right that certain parties, crapple is crippling their software to restrict its use on non crapple hardware. Some where some how that has to be a violation of the BSD licenses that OSX is based on, and I would love to see BSD or OSF or some one nail crapple for it.
But the fact remains that for most of the "peasants" they can walk in to x store purchase y hardware and use it on z computer with out much issue.
I build my own boxes for my personal, and self employment needs, official work boxes pretty much come from Dell as I don't have the time to build them at work for the schedule and costs.
So lets try this with two items:
Logitech Webcam a current model from office box store on sale for $39 - nothing in Linux, I gave it to some one who still uses winslobber, works fine last I heard.
Kodak 5500 AIO - no released support, even though it can and does work on the Mac AND Kodak HAS CUPS Linux drivers they REFUSE TO RELEASE, why? They don't want to support Linux and all the issues with the different distros.
The peasants are NOT going to do anything NOTHING, NADDA via the shell to install software, period. Yet thats the litmus test thats applied and the first words out of most:
Download a tarball, compile... BZZZZZZZZZZZZT! The peasants have just moved on !
Click download, click to install, click to run the peasants are fine. The fact that many in the Linux community still want this elitest litmust test of using shell for everyone, its not going to happen, and for them thats fine.
But overall this is NOT HELPING LINUX ADOPTION, period.
31 • Unofficial Fedora With Codecs (by sly on 2009-12-21 22:23:23 GMT from United States)
With the Fedora announcement in this weeks issue of DW, I am sensing a movement within the Linux community's major distros, whether it's an officially sanctioned or not, to provide a product that new users can cozy up to with little or no Linux experience. I personally think it's a good thing because it will broaden the base of Linux users. Of course purist may not be happy but why complain. If you segment users of Linux into newbies and experienced users, each segment benefits.
On another note, I've really enjoyed DW this year. Keep up the good work!!
32 • antiX-M8.5-beta3 available for testing. (by anticapitalista on 2009-12-21 22:27:07 GMT from Greece)
A quick pimp of the latest beta of antiX-M8.5, the 'lean and mean' MEPIS/Debian Testing using icewm and fluxbox, a 2.6.32-1.smp kernel and lots more.
See antiX/MEPIS forums for further details.
Happy holidays for those that have them.
33 • LSB (by Anonymous at 2009-12-21 23:15:54 GMT from United States)
LSB makes the filesystem consistent between different distro's.
But when will someone make use of the tree like file structure?
Even on a 1280x1024 Xterm I can't view all of my ls /usr/bin directory, using the shift page-up technique.
There once was an Xfree subdirectory which has now been moved to /usr/bin.
Problem was that ls /usr/Xfree/bin still didn't have any seperation.
If all I wanted was screen savers I had to know how to spot them by eye.
When I use X, the menu structure is much more logical, screen savers have their own sub menu.
No wonder many people can't stand using the command line.
Where's that file? Oh just look in /usr/bin.
Now try and find it in between thousands of other executables.
What's wrong with:
Logical categories for different applications, not just tossing it all in the same place; it's like someone's junk drawer, full of everything and anything.
I know it's in there, just have to find it.
When using the command line there are no nicely sorted menus.
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays all...
34 • Merry Christmas (by Andrew at 2009-12-22 00:28:18 GMT from Australia)
Enjoyed reading the DWW throughout the year, it's been great to watch the developments within Linux but somewhat sad to see the bickering that has become commonplace.
LSB sounds great - anything to make Linux more appealing to software firms and, in the end, new users.
PlugComputers - Only having US, EU, and UK plugs means that other countries miss out - I'd buy one today if it had an Aussie plug as I don't want the expensive or bulk of using an US to AU adaptor. Great idea though, fingers crossed they continue development and increase the CPU power (and hopefully outputs) while keeping the small size and lower wattage.
Have a happy and safe Christmas everyone :)
35 • @27 LSB (by Jesse at 2009-12-22 00:45:33 GMT from Canada)
"So all of the software that is written and packaged according to the LSB hasn't made an impact? Or are you just trying to support your subjective opinion by ignoring proprietary software?"
Ignoring them? I mentioned them in my Q&A piece. According to the LSB, there are a total of six software packages which comply with their standard. Since they charge for compliance testing, one would hope they know how many programs out there are certified. So, either the website is out of date or just six programs comply. If you have a more complete list, I'd like to see it.
36 • Re: 33, packages & LSB (by jake at 2009-12-22 01:08:16 GMT from United States)
AC: Sounds like a good project for a neophyte to learn lots about the system :-)
But before you start, try to remember that there are any number of scripts expecting files to be in /bin & co., you'll have to re-write all those. Including whatever package manager you prefer. And I kinda think that $PATH will become somewhat unwieldy.
As for packaging code, original tarballs from the author(s) of the code are the way to go, at least in a production environment. That's part of the reason that my distro of choice is as stable as it is.
LSB is a good idea on paper. In reality, it's not all that useful, IMO. And it will not become useful until all the distros (including the BSDs, Sun, IBM, HP et ali) agree to it, AND certification is free. But that's unlikely in my lifetime, mostly because folks like AC33 think outside the box. And NO, it's NOT a bad thing to think outside the box!
37 • 34 • Merry Christmas (by Andrew ) (by Edison at 2009-12-22 02:36:41 GMT from United States)
Have you given a thought to rewiring your house to US standards?!
38 • Ref#30 (by John Goodman at 2009-12-22 02:40:26 GMT from United States)
"Logitech Webcam a current model from office box store on sale for $39 - nothing in Linux, I gave it to some one who still uses winslobber, works fine last I heard. "
I bought one of those on sale a couple of years ago and found out the hard way that Linux is lacking. It now sorta kinda works but Skype - FOOORget about it. I still use Windows jsut for that Skype & Logitech.
39 • Jane Silber (by Antonio at 2009-12-22 03:26:25 GMT from United States)
Even though I don't use Ubuntu, use Fedora and Slax mainly and other livecd's like SystemRescueCD/Gparted and a little bit of OpenSUSE too. I hope not to offend here, but this lady (Jane Silber) is very nice looking and appealing. Hope she's not married or anything like that, but if she is I take it back. Best wishes for her and the Ubuntu Crew. She is a very nice looking lady again, a compliment. Hope Linux gains more ground and best wishes for her too! There are many nice looking people in the world, but not too many use linux :(
40 • Thanks & Merry Christmas (by D1Knight at 2009-12-22 03:34:25 GMT from United States)
Thank you to all at DW, for a terrific and interesting year of Linux/BSD reviews & article/info.
Linux & BSD onward and upward!
Peace,Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone!
41 • LSB (by Dion on 2009-12-22 04:54:29 GMT from United States)
I think the LSB is a great concept. The problem is that no one WANTS to follow it. Instead they find a distro and stick to it. I agree that it this one of the many things that maybe holding linux back.
Linux users and develpers are free spirits. Linux reflects this. There has been many great advances because of this.
Each distro might as well be its own OS. There are even massive changes between revision numbers in the same distro. Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 comes to mind.
I agree that there should be some sort of standard linux software base. Just like WINE adds a windows compatibility layer, and JAVA adds a compatibility layer for JAVA apps.
Make LSB a universal compatibility layer to run linux apps regardless of distro and platform. Treat it as an optional app like WINE or JAVA.
This way distro developers can keep their base format without having to retrofit their current OS or previous OS. You now have an optional layer that runs LSB files and they can be stored in their own separate directory...
I know this is just an idea. I know this is something that will not happen overnight. Or ever happen at all.
42 • Re #30: BSD License (by RO at 2009-12-22 05:11:43 GMT from United States)
FYI, precisely because the BSD license does not require "give-back" of source changes is why Apple (and Microsoft and anyone else) can get away with changing it any way they like, and keep the source to themselves.
43 • 39 • Jane Silber (by Antonio ) (by Anonymous at 2009-12-22 05:35:53 GMT from United States)
Sounds like you need to get a girlfriend to go with your nice looking Linux box.
44 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2009-12-22 07:10:43 GMT from Australia)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
45 • video clip of Jane Silber at OSCON (by Gnobuddy on 2009-12-22 07:30:16 GMT from United States)
For others curious about the person behind the name, here's a video clip of Ms. Jane Silber at OSCON. In the clip, she introduces herself and explains what she does at Canonical, talks about job opportunities at Canonical, explains what Canonical does, and so on.
Maybe I overlooked it, but I can't find any information as to when this video clip was recorded. FWIW, here's the URL: http://blip.tv/file/1105916
46 • @44 (by Gnobuddy on 2009-12-22 07:40:15 GMT from United States)
(by Anonymous at 2009-12-22 07:10:43 GMT from Australia)
"next year do yourselves a favour and get rid of catlyn martin"
Yeah, and get rid of Catlink Mutton too, while you're at it, also Cutlin Moton and Catlynn Mardine. Also get rid of any other people whose names "Anonymous" is too stupid to spell correctly.
Just please don't get rid of Ms. Caitlyn Martin, who is an excellent writer and reviewer, in addition to being a very talented and accomplished human being:
Somehow I very much doubt that "Anonymous" has an equally impressive set of credentials to show...
47 • ARE YOU SERIOUSLY STILL CRYING ABOUT A 2 YEAR OLD DISTRO REVIEW!!!! (by That Dude on 2009-12-22 10:38:06 GMT from United States)
Wanting to getting rid of someone because they made a critically, but true observation of your favorite distro is very childish. Still crying about it two years later is sad, and even more childish. That kind of distro-fundamentalism is whats wrong and I hope that changes for 2010.
Love DistroWatch keep up the good work. One suggestion. I'm addicted and I need to maintain my DWW buzz. So I think you should make DWW longer. Cover more on a weekly basis or go more in depth on your 2 or 3 lead topics.
48 • SheevaPlug (by g-e-e-k at 2009-12-22 12:13:49 GMT from Canada)
I'm very happy to see the SheevaPlug feature. I've had my eye on this baby for months now. Great job!
49 • @11, 15 (by g-e-e-k on 2009-12-22 12:20:51 GMT from Canada)
As far as I understand, SheevaPlug has features that the other (non-dev) versions do not, including a SD slot - which could come in quite handy. Make sure to closely compare features if you decide to order one of them!
50 • Merry Christmas (by Christopher Were on 2009-12-22 12:39:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the distrowatch newsletter for another year.
I personally can't wait until the next major Debian installment comes.
Have a good Christmas!
51 • OMAP Boards (by rec9140 on 2009-12-22 14:09:48 GMT from United States)
The project, is audio distribution of a sort, and needs an encoder of some sort like DarkIce but the author of DarkIce says the ARM's floating point is not up to handle the libs ie: LAME 3.98+ or libogg, so I have to go with that.
I'll question them further on it, but with out DarkIce or Ices working for 24bit/22050KHz CBR MP3 and 9600 VBR Ogg, and from the sounds of it the ARM's floating point is not up to these tasks.
52 • LSB, mainstream Linux acceptance (by Caitlyn Maritn on 2009-12-22 16:00:21 GMT from United States)
Like most folks who have posted I agree that LSB compliance would be a good thing for Linux. Also like most folks here I don't see it happening anytime soon. I dare say I am part of a relatively small minority who actually would like to see rpm as the packaging standard.
Where I disagree is that this represents a barrier to Linux adoption. The market has already pretty much sorted this out.
In the server room >99% of preloaded sales and probably over 95% of actual usage is divided between three distros: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Ubuntu LTS Sever Edition in that order. Red Hat is by far the dominant choice in North America. SUSE is significantly stronger in Europe. Red Hat clones (CentOS and Scientific Linux) probably make up much of the last 5%.
Right now the only distros with any significant presence preloaded on the desktop (including latops and netbooks) are Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, Mandriva and Android. Xandros, gOS and Linpus have all but disappeared in the Americas and Europe as I can tell. Nobody else has had any significant success marketing to hardware vendors. (The Asian market may be different. I'm really not in touch there.)
The other 600+ distros out there are all, effectively, limited to people who do their own installs. Those are not your average, mainstream Joe or Jane Sixpack users. Most people cannot and do not install their own OS, any OS. Windows and MacOS are decidedly not easier to install than a major Linux distro. The fact is that most people use whatever is installed on their computer when they buy it or have a tech-savvy friend or family member help them. Tech-savvy people don't have problems installing the better Linux distros nowadays.
The distros which are available preinstalled on the desktop all have point and click software installation from well stocked repositories. (Android may, at this point, be the lone exception, and if so, that is a temporary condition.) Software installation is not a barrier. Codecs aren't a barrier either. My netbook came with the Fluendo codecs, all properly licensed, preinstalled. Both Dell and HP do this. I'd bet other vendors do as well.
One of the main reasons Linux successfully recaptured 32% market share on netbooks according to both ABI Research and Dell is that, unlike the early Xandros, Linpus and gOS offerings, the Linux distributions preloaded today just work and are easily expanded on and updated. So long as that continues to be the case the real barrier to further Linux adoption on the desktop is making preloads more readily available, not a lack of standards.
Oh, and I hope everyone has a very happy, healthy and meaningful holiday season, whatever you celebrate. A Merry Christmas to those who observe the holiday :)
53 • R:#30 (by Seth Johanson at 2009-12-22 16:18:20 GMT from United States)
"...The fact that many in the Linux community still want this elitest litmust test of using shell for everyone, its not going to happen, and for them thats fine.
"But overall this is NOT HELPING LINUX ADOPTION, period."
This highlights rather well, at least in my view, where we are in the open source community today. Much like when Ham Radio licenses were dependent upon learning and using Morse Code, a litmus test at the time to determine whether one was "worthy" of adoption into that fraternity, so too is the CLI considered by many a litmus test and rite of passage to the Linux community.
As we saw exampled a couple of weeks ago, those who favor the idea of "roll your own" versions of Linux, starting with spartan base systems on which one then proceeds to build his or her dream system via the command line, quite often are found casting aspersions on the multitudes abandoning M$ and Mac in favor of open source freedom. Most of these newcomers opt for complete out of the box offerings such as Linux Mint and similar distros, because these simply work without a great degree of "geekishness" required. And truth be told it is to such distros that Linux users, both new and long term, will look as 2010 and beyond rolls by.
While this undoubtedly will not sit well with certain hardline CLI geeks who still believe they're somehow running the show, the fact of the matter is that such knee jerk reactionaries will have no more effect on where open source computing is headed than similar reactionaries in the Ham Radio world had as they insisted that Morse Code had to stay front and center as the keystone by which "worthiness" to join their fraternity was judged. Just as Morse Code requirements have been dropped for Hams, so to are CLI requirements being effectively set aside by visionaries who see desktop Linux for the masses as not only possible but ultimately inevitable.
54 • @41 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-22 16:55:10 GMT from Finland)
"Make LSB a universal compatibility layer to run linux apps regardless of distro and platform. Treat it as an optional app like WINE or JAVA."
But if this never happens to realise, other solutions for this purpose are already existing, for example Zero Install. Once software is packaged for Zero Install, you can use that sofware regardless of distro and its revision number. And there are tools for making Zero Install packaging easy.
There exists Open Lina too, which may become interesting in future. If I remember they even compared their system to JAVA themselves. Open Lina would allow installing Linux software regardless of OS including Linux distros, Mac OS X and Windows. However, I don't know the project's current status, some time ago it didn't seem to be sufficiently mature for wider usage.
On the other hand Zero Install seems featurefull and easy. You could just start making Zero Install software packages for use in almost every distro today! Just be carefull to include all the needed dependencies in the Zero Install feed to ensure the package working in most distros.
55 • Mint The Great Forerunner (by Landor at 2009-12-22 16:59:45 GMT from Canada)
I'd really like to know what tools/stats people used or read to come up with figures that Mint is this killer award winning distribution that "new users flock to instantly"
Do you really believe that the multitude of new users come to Linux and try Mint near instantly? That it's drawing them in? If so, you're deluding yourself.
People here complain about Ubuntu reviews and news but anyone who's ever read a Linux Magazine can tell you that as long as it's not a distribution specific reason, almost all, if not all, application reviews, how-to, etc, etc are all done in Ubuntu. Now we'll start hearing that's because Canonical has them in their pocket. There's even an Ubuntu specific magazine on the shelves. Reason being is they are the number one distribution. They are the most widely known on the desktop.
If anyone believes Mint has some kind of leverage over that then they're quite misguided. People here like to state that the average user coming from Windows is clueless and doesn't care. So in the whole Mint belief of it being the one that pulls in the vaunted new converts from Windows, how could that be when Mint on an advertising scale is but a speck compared to Ubuntu and few would even hear about it, or even care to look because they're so stupid and lazy, as people have said. I think they'd be using Ubuntu for quite awhile before even ever hearing of it.
(Side Note: I always find it amusing that people consider others who know more than them in a specific area oppressive in some way. Running the show, that's laughable. Slurs and the insecurities they're based on do little to foster a point.)
Keep your stick on the ice...
56 • RE: 16 & 17 (by Landor at 2009-12-22 17:10:49 GMT from Canada)
What I meant and should have pointed out, Jesse, was that you missed the point in the OEM/Vendor regard. Not packages and such specifically. I think that's the biggest reason for our community to support LSB, standardisation that will appeal to OEMS/Vendors.
I was aware of that but automatically jumped on the USB-Video-Card idea. I knew the limitations of USB 2.0 but didn't realise how bad it was until I checked yesterday. Even today they're really poor and still not that great for just a simple desktop monitor doing office tasks. I was kind of shocked. I can't even really see USB 3.0 making that much of a difference when it comes to those cards. Shame too, it would be perfect for something like the SheevaPlug.
Keep your stick on the ice...
57 • 55 • Mint The Great Forerunner (by Landor) (by Verndog at 2009-12-22 17:53:50 GMT from United States)
Happy holidays Landor. I installed Mint just to see why all the hype or its high ratings.
It works well, no complaints, but then so does Ubuntu. The difference is the codecs and so added tools, that I haven't found a need to use. It might be a good distro for new users. I have no idea.
That would be a good test. Set 100 Windows users down and try both for a spell. have each one use Mint then Ubuntu, and report back on likability. That will never happen of course.
What does happen is they have a friend who uses Linux and then asks that friend for advice. Then they try that brand or flavor. Depending on the friend and/or distro, they have a great or poor experience.
But your right, Ubuntu's marketing is far and away better than anyone else - on the desktop. Server wise I think Caitlyn covered that one.
The problem with Windows users, is that they usually have everything already installed on the machine of choice.
58 • Upcoming releases I'm looking forward to; #55 "oppressive" (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-22 18:53:02 GMT from United States)
I don't know how many of you looked at the list of upcoming releases at the end of DWW this week. Is anyone else excited about Pardus 2009.1? I've been impressed with Pardus 2009 and the move to KDE 4.3.x, a newer kernel with additional hardware support, and, of course, some bugfixes should make this a very interesting and hopefully a very good release.
Without giving away the content of my next review let me say that I also find a lot ot like in SalixOS. 13.0.2rc1 came out this past weekend and includes their first 64-bit release, as well as security patches and bugfixes.
64 bit: http://www.salixos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=397
32 bit: http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name...
#55: Landor, you have to admit that there is a small but vocal percentage of advanced Linux users who have a decidedly elitist attitude. In another forum (not here) when I wrote about Slackware being less than user friendly one commenter complained that some people (presumably including me) wanted Linux distributions to "change their diapers for them". The message was clear: can't work on the CLI and do a lot of manual configuration? You're an infant and should be treated as such.
There clearly are some, again a small but vocal minority, who have nothing but disdain for those who are migrating from Windows or for Windows users in general. Such people do make Linux seem unfriendly and do hurt Linux adoption. Thankfully I don't believe they are representative of the Linux community as a whole.
59 • StartCom release? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-22 18:57:33 GMT from United States)
Am I correct in assuming the new StartCom 5.04 release is for the Enterprise Edition? AFAIK the Multimedia Edition has been at version 5.07 (Kessem) for quite some time already.
60 • Never mind -- did a search and answered my own question (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-22 19:08:55 GMT from United States)
Note to self: Google first, ask later, and that way I don't look like an idiot.
StartCom 5.04 is an update to Kishuf, the Advanced Server 5 release. See: http://linux.startcom.org/?app=15 The link on the front page of DW is for the 32-bit version. There is a 64-bit DVD as well.
61 • CLI (by jake at 2009-12-22 20:38:23 GMT from United States)
You can use any of the top distros without the command line. You cannot, however, properly understand and administrate any of the top distros without the command line. Strangely enough, this includes Windows and OSX (Apple users, what the heck do you think "sudo" does?).
This is the inevitable outcome when you have what is in essence a network in a box with a GUI (or GUIs) strapped onto it ... This is not an elitist opinion, but rather obvious when you think about it.
My mom and Great Aunt are Slackware users. I administrate their boxen (when necessary ... a couple orders of magnitude less work than their old Windows machines). It doesn't make me better than they are, it's just that I have more computer training than they do.
62 • CLI, GUI, whatever... (by Redondo at 2009-12-22 21:36:04 GMT from United States)
I use what tool is available or the one that I feel comfortable with.
I use CLI for upgrading and updating my systems. I use GUI's for games and the the Desktop and a whole bunch of other stuff.
I do agree with this statement though...
"There clearly are some, again a small but vocal minority, who have nothing but disdain for those who are migrating from Windows or for Windows users in general. Such people do make Linux seem unfriendly and do hurt Linux adoption. Thankfully I don't believe they are representative of the Linux community as a whole."
I want to encourage the use of Linux and not discourage.
If I can help it, I don't use CLI in front of my Windows friends.
63 • Sensible award 2009 for Parsix - laptop hibernation (by gnomic at 2009-12-22 21:39:11 GMT from New Zealand)
There I was running a live session in Parsix 3.0r1. In a careless moment I closed the laptop lid without checking the power managemant settings. Huzza! Parsix came back with an alert about being unable to hibernate, and the session continued. Top marks for Parsix. This follows on some untoward experiences with other distros which think they can suspend but fail. Speaking of Mint 8, setting power management to blank screen on lid closing did allow a session to survive while the lid was closed, as opposed to the default suspend action failure.
64 • #58 - Upcoming releases... (by Antony on 2009-12-22 21:39:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes Caitlyn, I am eagerly anticipating Pardus 2009.1.
A happy and peaceful Christmas to all, and thanks to DWW.
65 • #60 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-23 00:53:34 GMT from United States)
Way too late for that!
66 • Happy Christmas and Merry New Year (by Woodstock69 on 2009-12-23 01:06:14 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
To the team at DWW, and all who contribute, have a great festive season and see you all again in a couple of weeks.
Here's to a 2010 filled with even more controversy, counter-argument, misplaced opinion, name calling and of course the odd distro review and release.
Looking forward to hearing more from Caitlyn (beware the trolls), Ladislav, Chris, Jesse and especially looking forward to a few reviews from those anonymous experts who can do it all better.
All in all, one big family with the usual dysfunctionality that keeps the rest guessing what will happen next. Mind you, some of those long lost opinionated uncles and aunts could help the family by staying lost....
Remember: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!
Bai mi lukim yu bihain sampla taim lo' Krismas na havim olgeta hamamas niu yia!
67 • RE 61 GUI and CLI (by Jesse at 2009-12-23 01:09:39 GMT from Canada)
While I agree that it's a huge pain to admin an OS X box without a command line, and it can be useful to use a command line in Windows, but I don't think the CLI is a requirement anymore on Linux. Convenient, sure, not not required in most desktop cases. Take Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE or Mandriva. Most admin tasks you'd want, on a desktop machine, can be done from a GUI. Personally, I'm used to the command line and I'm glad that's an option, but my friends are able to admin their own Linux boxes without leaving the comfort of the GUI.
68 • CLI (by Anonymous at 2009-12-23 01:10:09 GMT from United States)
You are right.
When I asked a good friend (who uses windows) about NTFS scandisk,
he simply said, it does not exist and is not needed.
This was claimed from win2k to xp.
Then I mentioned that I read it was CLI and he checked for it there and discovered the chkdsk tool. He said he never looked at the CLI side before.
He's been running windows since 3.1, using the GUI.
I guess that may qualify as an easter egg (CLI chkdsk).
Win users are basically GUI users.
Enjoy the holidays.
69 • Thanks GnoBuddy (by Antonio at 2009-12-23 01:46:36 GMT from United States)
Thanks for sharing the link for Ms. Silber.
It is very difficult to get a girlfriend, a good one that is. A good girlfriend is like a parking space, all the good ones are taken and the ones that are available you don't want to get :(
I am a very complicated person that is looking for a simple one, that does not ask many questions, that is always there and does not, does not commit adultery. I am faithful only to have my heart broken.
Best wishes to all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
One of these days, I might find the girl of my dreams, today I will look forward for that day :)
I can impress them with many things, but It is very hard for me to LIE to them and that is where my problem might be ?
70 • CLI and windows (by Antonio at 2009-12-23 02:07:59 GMT from United States)
I like the shell, I used to use dos 6.2 in the "old days", I still use the old "cmd.exe" in windows. I like the command prompt, the terminal shell bash, ..., etc. I use cdrecord to burn cd's in windows too. This has never given me troubles like Nero and Roxio. It does make me look like a "nerd", "geek", etc. But why should I change that?
I install gui's for my friends who use windows, but I do let them know that the CLI exists and is there to help out in case that it is needed.
I use Fedora and yum to keep my systems updated. I also use Slackware and use slaxbuilds.org to build some apps that are not present in Slackware. I still have to make some packages, but I am working on it.
71 • 57 • 55 • Mint The Great Forerunner (by Anonymous at 2009-12-23 02:50:10 GMT from United States)
Mint relies on Ubuntu who relies one Debian. Mint would be nothing without Ubuntu.
Mint comes off as polished version of Ubuntu as much as Ubuntu comes off as Debian. The only real change for from Mint and Ubuntu is the interface and some of the codecs.
From personal experience. My friends and family use my mint based computers with little or no trouble. They were just surfing the web, watching TV, or whatever. What I have in my favorites is what they use.
I seriously see Mint as an unofficial flavor of Ubuntu. Like Kubuntu, Mythbunt etc. As long as Mint remains Ubuntu compatible, I will recommend either Mint or Ubuntu to new users.
72 • Re: 67 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-23 02:51:36 GMT from United States)
"my friends are able to admin their own Linux boxes without leaving the comfort of the GUI."
Not trying to argue, but I submit they aren't admining, they are using.
For example, what happens if their GUI fails to start? Or they forget the root password? Yeah, I know, boot from a Knoppix CD/DVD (or other live GUI) ... But do these people even know that init exists, much less what it is? I once totally shocked an OSX user by booting into single-user mode to reset the root password for her. She had no idea such a thing was possible. And how many of them know it's even a possibility to mount a harddrive read-only?
Also please note that I think it's a GOOD thing that Linux allows less technically inclined people to use it these days. My Mom and Great Aunt like it, too, because I make the trip to visit them on alternate Mondays (they live in opposite directions), and instead of my wife visiting with them, while I work on the computer ... I actually get to visit with them! How's THAT for a benefit of FOSS :-)
73 • ** (by shady on 2009-12-23 02:52:10 GMT from United States)
I like the match.com vibe this thread is getting.
74 • 72 was me (by jake at 2009-12-23 03:06:38 GMT from United States)
I never post anon. Sorry :-)
75 • to 69, Antonio (by Anonymous at 2009-12-23 08:43:58 GMT from India)
And in the festive spirit, I wish you may find a good parking space, a distro you can stick with, and a good girl/ wife. There are other gus like you here in many corners of the world; and let us hope there are a few nice girls too who could care for us :)
Season's greetings to all, and may open source and Linux thrive in 2010.
76 • Pardus (by Gary W on 2009-12-23 11:21:59 GMT from Australia)
I tried Pardus for a couple of weeks a year ago, and thought it polished and carefully constructed; it's certainly worthy of consideration for newbies and Windows refugees. I didn't stick with it since its repository didn't have many of the small tools and creature comforts that I'm used to in Debian-based distros. Not a criticism, just a contra-indication for me.
The only KDE 4 distro I've tried so far is the Kubuntu Netbook Edition, which shows promise but is rather incomplete (I've since moved on to Ubuntu NBR on my netbook). Looking forward to trying the new Pardus, for a smooth and stable KDE4!
77 • GUI Goodness (by Anon on 2009-12-23 13:27:37 GMT from Norway)
#53, Seth Johanson, wrote: "Just as Morse Code requirements have been dropped for Hams, so to are CLI requirements being effectively set aside by visionaries who see desktop Linux for the masses as not only possible but ultimately inevitable."
That is the future, of course. However, as one who can still remember the rush of excitement when we finally got deep enough into the North Atlantic to call up, say, Chatham Radion on 500 kHz CW, I am not at all convinced it will make us happier! ;)
Oh well. Merry Christmas to everybody, whether you celebrate or not!
Special thanks to Caitlyn Martin for being forthright, levelheaded and considerate all at the same time. I'll try it myself next year. I promise!
78 • RE 72 (by Jesse at 2009-12-23 15:24:24 GMT from Canada)
"For example, what happens if their GUI fails to start? Or they forget the root password?"
You make a good point, but to me that sounds more like trouble shooting than day-to-day administration. When I said desktop users don't need to use the command line to admin, I was thinking of managing user accounts, setting passwords, adding/removing/updating packages, configuring SELinux.... That sort of thing. Obviously, if ANY operating system won't boot into a GUI, you'll need the command line. Or, if you lock yourself out of the root account, you'll probably need CLI knowledge or a password cracker.
79 • RE: 57 Just to make things fair. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-12-23 16:30:31 GMT from United States)
"That would be a good test. Set 100 Windows users down and try both for a spell. have each one use Mint then Ubuntu, and report back on likability."
That would be a good test but to make everything fair all, operating systems would have to be pre installed, with all codecs installed and with like apps installed. Also eye candy would have to be the same because that is important to most Window users. (some linux users also).
This is only my opinion
80 • Re: LSB (by Ben on 2009-12-23 16:36:51 GMT from United States)
First of all, I think a lot of developers appreciate LSB and take it into account even if they don't have the inclination or capital resources to get their applications certified by LSB.
Second, while it is a very good idea, and has produced some very positive results. As Linux matures and gains commercial adoption the major distributions are naturally converging and consolidating in many areas to provide a stable and predictable environment for their customers.
Third, while distros like Slackware and Debian may not be officially on the list, they are probably compliant (or nearly compliant) already anyways. Pat V. certainly likes the ideas of stability and predictability as much as the next guy, but he doesn't seem like the type to go out of his way to get certified.
81 • Ubuntu - Installation comparison with Windows 7 (by Anonymous on 2009-12-23 20:39:17 GMT from United States)
Just this morning, I installed Ubuntu (64bit) in a dual boot arrangement
with Windows 7. After the basic installation, I applied the updates and
then activated the NVdia 185 driver in twinview setup. Then I put on
about 50GB of archived data. Next step was to install "ubuntu-restricted"
and "livdvdcss" and "w64codecs" packages from Medibuntu. I then
added some software that is essential to my work (and hobbies): build-essential, texlive, gftp, inkscape, acroread, k3b, k3b codecs, dvdrip,
lame, faac. Final steps were to setup evolution (with address book) and
Firefox (with imported bookmarks). Total time was about two hours, which
is about 1/3 of what it took me to put on Windows 7 and associated
software (major time sink for Windows7 are the service packs
for Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2008).
I don't know whether the times I'm reporting are typcial. I'm pretty
experienced installing various Linux distributions as well as Windows 7,
but needless to say, it's a lot easier (at least for me) to install Linux!!
As a side point, I'm curious whether there are substantial differences between
Mint and Ubuntu+ "ubuntu-restricted"+libdvdcss"+"w64/32codecs"
82 • Christmas comes early... (by Verndog on 2009-12-23 21:08:20 GMT from United States)
Hurry , ends on Christmas Day. For both Windows/AND ALL Linux distributions....You can download all of them for free.
This Windows Office alternative is much faster than either MS Office or OpenOffice
Christmas is coming early this year...
Between today and December 31, SoftMaker gives away full versions of SoftMaker Office 2008 for Windows – permanently usable and upgradable to future versions.
But there is more: For every download on www.loadandhelp.com, SoftMaker donates € 0.10 (ten Euro Cents) to charity and development projects worldwide on www.betterplace.org.
83 • mr anonymous (by sly on 2009-12-23 23:21:26 GMT from United States)
If you are bold enough to say it, you should be bold enough to claim it.
84 • re #81 (by Glenn on 2009-12-24 04:15:40 GMT from Canada)
Mu experience is the same as yours. To install Linux plus my Companys business applications (Lotus Notes, ERICOM, Office, ATT, etc. plus all the goodies of Linux that I use takes me 2 hours from the beginning of the Linux Install to a full operating environment. I also have installed a couple of Apps under wine within this time.
Under Windows XP or Win7 it takes me 10 hours and many many reboots.. .
Thanks a lot for the link. I'm downloading.
Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year.
Happy Winter Solstice to those who do not celebrate it. :-)
85 • what is a "distribution"? (by simon at 2009-12-24 04:33:20 GMT from New Zealand)
glancing through the extreme differences between the "distributions" listed on distrowatch, the term seems a bit misleading. to me the only real "distributions" are, like they were originally, distributions of gnu tools and other free software, carefully compiled and organised via bootscripts, package managers and so on, to work with the linux kernel.
debian, slackware, fedora, gentoo, opensuse and so on clearly fall into this category: they undertake the huge task of gathering together a wide range of different packages and making them into a usable gnu/linux distribution. while they don't qualify quite so clearly, major overhauls of existing distributions can eventually become "real" distributions in their own right: ubuntu being an obvious example. while they may not organize and distribute free software packages directly, their developers are sufficiently competent (or just sufficiently many!) that they *could* do this if they had to: ubuntu without debian would be a very different beast, but i suspect it would survive because the community has the skills and motivation to keep it going.
moving further away from this however, a great many of the distros that are "based on" real distributions would not survive the death of their parent distro. this is because their maintainers are NOT doing the huge work of turning upstream code into gnu/linux distributions: they are simply customizing an already existing distro. sometimes the customizations are pretty extreme, but i still think there is a meaningful difference between a "real" distro and a customization/overhaul/tweak. it's not just that the "tweak" distros would not survive without the real ones: it's a case of using a term so broadly that an important aspect of its original meaning is lost. it's like calling someone an "athlete" because he plays sports video games while cramming big macs into his enormous gut.
and then, at the very opposite extreme from the "real" distros, we have the likes of "viper os", introduced in the latest dww as a new "distribution". perhaps i'm wrong, but from a quick look at the home page it appears to be ubuntu with a dark visual theme. ok, i accept that it may be useful for some people who can't be bothered setting up ubuntu (or whatever) themselves to look how they want it to look, when they can simply download an installation iso that themes it all for them, bootsplash and all. great. but since when was a collection of artwork a gnu/linux distribution? come on distrowatch: your announcements of "new distributions" are getting less and less exciting as more and more of them turn out to be these spit-in-the-face-of-unix-philosophy "look, this is MY own DIFFERENT distro, because i took out all of a real distro's artwork and replaced it with mine" make-overs.
maybe you could split the endlessly-growing-in-size while endlessly-diminishing-in-usefulness "distributions" list into three separate categories: real distributions (of which there are plenty, but not hundreds), child distributions (where distributions are modified quite substantially, beyond what the average power user would do anyway, e.g. by using a different file system hierarchy or package manager or whatever), and (borrowing fedora's term) "remixes" (where a distribution is only tweaked to the extent a power user might tweak his or her own system, e.g by building and installing some different applications, theming the gui differently, and so on). lumping these very different projects under the one heading of "distribution" is about as useful as a restaurant menu with a single long section headed "food".
86 • RE: LSB efforts (by Alex on 2009-12-24 05:25:55 GMT from United States)
Reading about the LBS's efforts to make applications compatible across versions and distributions prompted these thoughts... I had LSB installed on Mandriva since 10.0 days... and I still had dependency hell. Even if it were possible to install a foreign RPM/Deb/whatever, a point would be reached when the application I want and installed dependency versions were just too far apart. A good solution would be to compile from source, right? Not so fast! I still had to hunt down some dependencies manually. I seriously considered Debian/Ubuntu/Gentoo/Sabayon, as they had the very good concept of integrating a source compilation system with binary package management. However, IMHO, BSD systems (ports/pkgsrc) seem to have the best implementation, because they try to keep it simple yet unified, powerful and secure. I wish LSB would take hints from the BSD world - Keep It Simple, Silly.
87 • Re: 78 (by jake at 2009-12-24 07:53:40 GMT from United States)
"to me that sounds more like trouble shooting than day-to-day administration."
In my mind, if you're not comfortable with the command line, and various boot parameters, you're not qualified to administrate a UN*X system ... Your mileage may vary.
Maybe I'm getting old & crusty :-/
88 • Some responses: (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-24 14:33:59 GMT from United States)
#87: No, Jake, it's not about being old or crusty. Every professional *nix sysadmin works primarily at the command line. The home user can do most things in the GUI but often the command line is faster and far more efficient. So, yeah, I do agree with you and do encourage people to learn the CLI if they are so inclined.
#80: Neither Debian nor Slackware are anywhere near LSB compliant. One example right off the top of my head: neither use rpm packages. In thye case of Slackware I believe LSB compliance would contradict the philosophy behind the distro in some areas.
Oh, and for those of you who haven't checked the DW front page, SalixOS 13.0.2 final is out, including their first 64-bit release, which I am using right now :)
89 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2009-12-24 14:41:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
Some very good points Simon. And elsewhere some good points too on the "elitist" issue.
That last fortunately is of no real consequence, Ubuntu works its socks off to make itself as user friendly as possible...and is most likely to succeed as the replacement to MS as the desktop OS of choice. They make the most visible effort so what's wrong with that?
If folk want to do the hobbyist bit then why not, but don't bleat about other folks' success in bringing "easy" GnuLinux to the masses.
And, if "others" want to re-decorate a given distro with new wallpapers and christen it with a new name so what? They are deriving some pleasure in simply doing and doubtless learning at the same AND hurting nobody in the slightest.
For those detractors of the above mentioned activities; you really ought to get out more. "You" don't own GNULinux and it is not for you to dictate what folk do with a distro at all. Open licence means just that.
In the meantime such folk might as well accept that the are many, many national distros out there...the devs of which pay little or no attention to the ranting of GNULinux purists. It must be obvious to most by now that such ideology these days is just stuff and nonsense.
Anyway, Season's Greetings to all...and one last thing ref CM's resume/CV from her links...that 30 years in the industry must be a typo...30 years ago you could ony have been a twinkle in your Dad's eye...
90 • That extra open source "hit". (by Jesse on 2009-12-24 15:19:49 GMT from Canada)
Some folks have mentioned here that they'd like to see more distro-related news, comments and reviews. Bearing that in mind, I'm setting up a blog which will do just that. It'll be mostly my comments, Q&As and reviews which didn't make the cut for DWW. I'm getting some questions that don't really fit with the DWW format and I have some misc material that isn't really appropriate for here. So, for people who want an extra "fix" after Monday, stop by and check it it. Right now, it's just a crude outline, but it'll grow if people show an interest.
This isn't an attempt to compete with DW, it's an extra helping for people who want it. My first string stuff will still be submitted to Ladslav.
91 • Newly "Minted" Linux users will appreciate this. (by Seth Johanson at 2009-12-24 15:40:02 GMT from United States)
Dominant Linux distributions usually have one in thing in common – strong commercial support. Ubuntu has Canonical, Fedora has RedHat, and openSUSE rests on Novell. Debian is an exception in that it is driven by a major non-profit organization, not by a commercial enterprise.
Every now and then a smaller distribution comes along and attracts major audiences and an active user base. Linux Mint is one such. It has some very good years years behind it at this point, with a solid track record of releasing carefully crafted versions, and has shown consistent improvement as its developers work at being serious players in the Linux open source marketplace of ideas.
So what does Mint have that's special, enabling it to garner a major user base and develop such an active growing community? The secret is that Mint works hard at identifying and fixing weak areas in Ubuntu. Improvements that Mint developers have made are obvious from the first boot into the system – Linux Mint makes Ubuntu far more user friendly, especially so when speaking of newly 'Minted" Linux users (pun intended!).
To begin with Mint fixes that ugly brown desktop theme that Ubuntu is often criticized for. Additionally the Gnome interface has been reoriented to a single bottom panel, a decidedly easier to work with setup for those migrating from Windows. The original Gnome menus have been replaced with Mint Menu, a mix of sorts between openSUSE's Kickoff style menu and the Windows XP menu. With these basic changes Mint is easy to use and welcoming for Windows users and others with little or no Linux desktop experience.
Another feature that new and old Linux users alike appreciate is the inclusion of the proprietary software and codices one needs for everyday use. Java, Flash and out of the box support for most audio and video formats is preinstalled. This means that a vast majority of the world’s web pages and online services work right out of the box in Linux Mint. So do your own music and video files. Mint also includes a set of well designed Mint-specific tools that make using your computer ever so much easier, especially for newcomers. However the importance of these tools is small in comparison to what most consider the correctly done out of the box system configuration that Mint provides.
The hardcore like to remind us that you can customize Linux and make it whatever you want. However conservative estimates hold that 90% to 95% of new Linux users settle for whatever system is available subsequent to their first boot. They may change their wallpaper but that's about it, and that’s why first impressions and out of the box system configuration is critical to capture the hearts and minds of those migrating from Windows to Linux.
Linux Mint is obviously targeted at newbies by design. Overall it's safe to say that Mint delivers substantial added value in that regard, providing one of the most complete out of the box experiences presently available to new users on a stable Debian/Ubuntu core. Mint will without a doubt continue to bear watching given its DW ranking and strong developmental history.
92 • ref#91 "mentos" (by Verndog at 2009-12-24 17:11:46 GMT from United States)
I have Mint installed along side Ubuntu, Kubuntu and others. It is very stable, and like you reported has fixed many issues.
Most of what you said I agree with....except maybe you might get some flak over:
"To begin with Mint fixes that ugly brown desktop theme that Ubuntu is often criticized for. "
There might be some that hate minty green :)
93 • Re 88 Salix (by Sertse at 2009-12-24 21:03:32 GMT from Australia)
Salix looks nice, and might be what I'm looking for..
I've always wanted to try Slackware, but I didn'tr really want to go through the effort of d/ling a whole dvd of stuff. Salix appears attractive, it doesn't claim to be anything but a slackware remix + extras, (I think Zenwalk, and esp Vector are moving away from real slackware?), but it fits into a single CD, and gives me just enough (I like xfce, and it happens to give me just that :) ) to get started.
Will see how it goes.
94 • Re: 57 - by Verndog (by John T. at 2009-12-24 21:04:55 GMT from United States)
"Set 100 Windows users down and try both for a spell. have each one use Mint then Ubuntu, and report back on likability."
In some ways this has already happened. Maybe not with 100 Windows users sitting down at the same time and place to compare Ubuntu and Mint while reporting their initial likes and dislikes, but with the many tens of thousands of Windows users who continue to transition to Linux at an increasing rate. A tremendous number of these do so based on what they've heard from friends or acquaintances about the two distros in question, Ubuntu and Mint. Reading what a many of these report once they've spent time with whichever of these two distros they began with is a real eye opener, something I highly recommend.
95 • CLI - a stumbling stone (by KimTjik at 2009-12-24 21:11:30 GMT from Sweden)
How can a tool polarize users in such a degree that CLI does? Post # 53 implies that CLI demands a degree of "geekishness". What's so geeky about a software tool? Besides working with economics and IT I'm a sheet-metal worker as well (seam roofing); does that make tools like a seam opening pliers geeky just because it's a very specialized tool?
There's no reason to fight in the fashion of predicting if the future is GUI or CLI, like one man's tool makes all other invalid, or like a GUI is an independent piece of software. Both are here to stay. A GUI is still just a front-end for CLI commands, so by promoting a good GUI you at the same time promotes a good CLI back-end. Just because some OS is crippled as to how you access the back-end without its GUI front-end doesn't mean that Linux, BSD or some other OS has to cripple itself as well.
96 • Last comment on the subject (maybe! :-) ) (by jake on 2009-12-24 21:44:07 GMT from United States)
I guess in my mind the term "administrator" means "has more in depth knowledge than a typical user". Kind of the difference between an auto mechanic and your typical driver.
Most people using *buntu (Mint, et alii) are no more "administrators" than they were when they were using Windows. This is NOT a bad thing! How many people who drive a 7-series BMW know how their internal combustion engine or the braking system works? Yet they still manage to use all the bits & bobs on the dash, and (hopefully) make it to their tee-time on time, with minimal histrionics.
Now, would it help my mythical BMW owner/operator to understand enough about their car to be able to distinguish between a blown fuel pump fuse and a bad fuel pump relay when marooned in the back of beyond? Yes (both are trivial to replace). Is it a necessity for driving? No. And as far as I'm concerned, the more people driving Linux instead of Windows, the better. So vive l'difference!
97 • Silly gooey mess... (by Verndog at 2009-12-24 23:58:38 GMT from United States)
I'm old school. Meaning, I'm old and have been schooled by many.
I "grew-up" on Unit. Worked for the then Bell System. Everything back then
was under AT&T, Western Electric, and Bell Labs(remember them).
Teletype35 was our backup. Bunches of yellow paper rolls we stored for years.
First version of Unix came out and we were ecstatic! Wow, you mean nor more Yellow rolls.
Hardly. We kept both for years afterward. Paranoid, I suppose.
If memory serves me, I believe it was a PDP1140 or 1170 that housed out Unix system.
It had core memory, not dynamic. Real old school.
All we had was a Terminal. So CLI is what we worked with. When vi had curses available,
everyone got real excited. The closes then to GUI we had at the time.
When I eventually own a personal computer it only had DOS. So CLI still.
When Linux first came out it reminded us to much like out work environment, so we
sidestep it for a spell. I went with the Radio Shack Color computer "CoCo",
Now I find myself using GUI a lot of the time, but I still use CLI inputs
a lot of the time. Whatever tool is at hand. I prefer Open Office over the old
ed style or vi style inputs. I like WYSIWYG.
I don't know now how I could like without BOTH.
On the other hand my girlfriend doesn't know CLI, or DOS from railroad spike.
She just uses her computer either at home or at work and happily uses Windows.
Didn't know anything else until one day she noticed my Desktop was a tad bit different
then her Windows. She liked it. I use using Ubuntu at the time and installed it
for her. To me amazement , on her own was able to configure out how to implement
IME and get her Japanese language and fonts working in no time!
All this has nothing what so ever to do with geeky-ness but a little willingness
to read and learn.
98 • Done With ATI. (by AnoN at 2009-12-25 04:19:39 GMT from United States)
Can you name any recent Linux distro that actually works with
Man, I just want to RANT! I've had it with ATI.
Hell, ati/amd video cards aren't even worth a rant, I found a solution
-- drop in an iNvidia card... PROBLEM SOLVED.
99 • ..... (by Landor at 2009-12-25 06:42:20 GMT from Canada)
Merry Christmas Ladislav and everyone else.
I hope the holidays sees everyone happy, healthy, and safe.
Enjoy your time spent with those that matter, it's the only real thing that matters.
Keep your stick on the ice...
100 • From: 91 (by That Dude on 2009-12-25 10:16:33 GMT from United States)
"The hardcore like to remind us that you can customize Linux and make it whatever you want. However conservative estimates hold that 90% to 95% of new Linux users settle for whatever system is available subsequent to their first boot. They may change their wallpaper but that's about it, and that’s why first impressions and out of the box system configuration is critical to capture the hearts and minds of those migrating from Windows to Linux."
This statement is so true: A Good First Impression is Everything.
Some Linux veteran's just don't understand this very point. I'm more inclined to stick with, join a forum, test future projects, tell others and donate to distro's that gives me that initially everything just works out the box experience.
Isn't that the goal for must distro's?
Don't get me wrong, I love to tinker with and learn about all the different flavors Linux comes in. I have about 20 distro's running in virtual box on my main desktop machine, plus a few laptops with various distros on them. But without my first experience being so good, I don't think I would be here today.
101 • Re: 99 by Landor - Something we agree 100% on! (by Seth Johanson at 2009-12-25 15:23:58 GMT from United States)
A Merry Christmas to one and all, and the best of the New Year for all those near and dear to each one who counts himself or herself a member of this great world wide open source community!
102 • Ref# 99 (by Verndog at 2009-12-25 16:43:56 GMT from United States)
"Merry Christmas Ladislav and everyone else.
I hope the holidays sees everyone happy, healthy, and safe.
Enjoy your time spent with those that matter, it's the only real thing that matters.
Merry Christmas to you and yours Landor !"
...and to you and your Landor, and all our guests here at Distrowatch
103 • non-distributed (by gedropi on 2009-12-25 18:38:25 GMT from Anonymous Proxy)
For security reasons, I am interested in the most non-distributed applications (OS, word processing, spreadsheet, etc) possible. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or workarounds. Thanks.
104 • SalixOS (by stuckinoregon on 2009-12-25 20:18:06 GMT from United States)
Happy to report that I have Salix running on two laptops now. It really is a treat to work with. Had one little issue with the install but the folks are working on that issue currently. Not a major issue by any stretch of the imagination. (autopartitioning was not creating the /home/user folder properly. Running the manual partitioning cfdisk was easy enough and solved the issue.) Gapan and thenktor reponded very promptly to my forum post and are taking a look at what is happening. Very easy to use and to my needs on these two little old notebooks (T30 and D400) everything was recognized and enabled from the start. Looking forward to CM's top-secret review. ;-D
105 • Google Chrome Browser for Linux (by Chris H on 2009-12-26 00:36:08 GMT from United States)
Versions for suse, fedora, ubuntu and debian.
Also fedora has a new kernel out today.
106 • @105 (by KevinC at 2009-12-26 06:55:41 GMT from United States)
Further, the .rpm will work with OpenSUSE 11.2 and Mandriva 2010. The former requires update of the aforementioned LSB (Chrome requires LSB >= to 3.2). Mandy uses LSB 2.0 and you have to force install, but it works fine, as far as I can tell. Google offers 32 and 64-bit versions, as well. Also, extensions are now enabled for Chrome--I have XMarks and AdBlock installed---sadly no NoScript available as of yet. I love Chrome, tho---it's my favorite browser. I find it very fast to load, initially; and in loading pages.Every now and again I find a website that doesn't cooperate, but that's fairly rare. In that case I just open Firefox and paste the URL. On my netbook Chrome runs head and tails faster than Ff or IE 8. Opera is similarly fast, but I don't like the way Opera expands Bookmarks, rather than allowing scrolling. And it requires one jump thru several hoops to get Flash working with Ubuntu (or it did in Jaunty, haven't used Opera in Karmic). Just as an aside, that's one feature that Mint offers over vanilla Ubuntu---Mint offers Opera in the repos and it works "out of the box."
107 • SSDs, again (by forest at 2009-12-26 10:34:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
The continuing topic of SSDs, and subsequent claims about their performance. For anyone interested see here:
There are numerous links hither and thither on the page relating to the subject and the aforementioned claims of performance is bound to cause a few wry smiles...why is it impossible to confirm manufacturers' figures independently?
Having said that going down the SSD route is still, probably, a good idea.
108 • privacy-supermarket-chrome(google) (by jack at 2009-12-26 14:46:03 GMT from Canada)
Given the belief that the readers of DW are more "computer competent" than the average computer user it is surprising (to me) that their attitude towards privacy is similar to that of the housewife at the supermarket check-out; she who presents her "air miles" card without hesitation
Using any google app. supplies info to google just as the "air miles" card does to some other (?) company.
Happy new year and thanks for the work that you put into DW
109 • Google (by Anonymous at 2009-12-26 16:33:58 GMT from United States)
I have NOTHING to hide regarding google. That argument is getting real stale!
Google Chrome is head and tails above anything else.
110 • Spread of GNULinux (by forest at 2009-12-26 23:31:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yet another pleasing development if only on the surface:
I don't know if such figures are independently audiited, as in we don't know from that statement what the breakdown is but, for the sake of argument let's agree there is a year on year increase in unique torrent users.
I suspect we would know for sure were we to learn of Steve B, on the qt, unloading (dumping?) his MS stock and buying up Red Hat, Oracle, Canonical...or even...Google?
111 • @110; 108 (by KevinC at 2009-12-27 07:50:27 GMT from United States)
@110: Linking HardOCP....used to be a frequent poster there when I was into oc'ing. The claim about Linux I don't get tho, maybe it's just me cuz I'm suffering from a horrible Christmas cold, but I, for the life of me, don't see how this supports Linux users doubling. Utorrent is a Windows app (with a cursory Mac version) & the linked article seems to be about ppl. obtaining torrents of copyrighted material and the legal imbroglio involving Pirate Bay and co. vs. the MPA and RIAA.
@108: Google's attitude about privacy is concerning (from the register, for what that's worth):
Esp. concerning, the quote from Eric Schmidt (Google's head honcho): "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Also, he goes on to add that Google is a U.S. based co. and subject to the whims of the Patriot Act. I'm keeping an eye on this and could easily go back to FF or Opera.
Furthermore, there's SRWare Iron, a remix of Chrome with the privacy-related stuff removed:
112 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-27 11:48:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
I dunno about storing stuff in the "cloud" being any different to using gmail or gdocs for storing any data. There have been various comments in the past about gmail, among others, who keep your stuff on it's myriad servers all over.
That data is pw protected but you never know who could, rpt could, get access if desired. You might have seen, fairly recently, a film with Dicaprio and Crowe, where we learn "the enemy" has cottoned onto not using electronic means for its secure comms, so maybe all the argument is moot anyway.
Might be different matter for your average dodgy character (read merchant banker types in UK, lol) who knows no better tho'. I gather data deletion software is a must have these days...especially if you go around buying up car making companies for £10 and start paying yourself questionably large bonuses every five minutes.
113 • United Linux & LSB (by Anonymous at 2009-12-27 12:27:37 GMT from Finland)
Do you remember United Linux which was an attempt to unite several Linux distributions a few years ago? LSB is more or less similar idea. Whether both of them will have similar (or different) fate is a question.
114 • Kanotix (by M1k at 2009-12-27 13:46:21 GMT from Italy)
Kanotix 2.6.32 is out !!!
Let's rock !!
115 • Chrome Correction (by KevinC at 2009-12-28 15:59:30 GMT from United States)
Correction to above statement....the Chrome RPM no longer requires force install with Madriva 2010; or perhaps last weekend when I was playing with Mandy 2010 the repos were giving me issues....idk. But the install works fine now and the dependencies are picked up and installed.
116 • Not another distribution, just a script file! (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-28 20:50:10 GMT from United States)
This approach would be great for those that change the artwork, layout, and add a few applications, and call it a new distribution (You know who you are).
It would eliminate a lot of distributions. I especially like the ability to quickly change things back. Users could create a new user, login as that user and run a script like this to experience both, without risking their current setup.
How to make your ubuntu desktop look just like XP:
Run in full screen to see the details.
I'm not advocating THIS particular change, just the approach.
No need for yet another distribution!
117 • re: Super O/S (by kRAZYpENGUIN on 2009-12-29 01:09:18 GMT from Canada)
Oh great, another Ubuntu Distro!!!! Just what we needed!!!
The thing I don't like about these are that it is Ubuntu with a bunch of bloatware added to it. Yes the stuff is uselful, but not everybody will be using all the extra software.
I prefer a basic system and install the things I need.
Instead of trying to fork it without any real purpose , how about contributing to Ubuntu.
118 • Re. 117 • re: Super O/S (by kRAZYpENGUIN on 2009-12-29 01:09:18 GMT from Canada) (by Distrowatcher at 2009-12-29 03:56:54 GMT from United States)
With all due respect, and without meaning to sound confrontational, why does it bother you so much that there is another distro based on Ubuntu ?
As you say, "Ubuntu with a bunch of bloatware added to it. Yes the stuff is uselful, but not everybody will be using all the extra software".
If the "stuff" is useful, what is the issue? Have you tried it, and if so what specifically do you dislike about it ?
I really used to like reading DW and anything about Linux, but lately there is just too much negativity when discussing Linux (MS shills perhaps).
You can build your own distro, but it is much more work than most Linux users realize. And no. I am not affiliated with Ubuntu or the distro you are refering to. Linux developers work hard, and for the most part for free. If you really prefer a custom Linix may I recommend LFS or any other "kit". Then you can start on your basic system.
119 • Ref#118 Agreed (by Redondo Beach at 2009-12-29 05:17:42 GMT from United States)
Good point. Some folks don't either know how or can't be bothered downloading all the needed codecs, so Super OS is a god sent for them.
Reading SuperOS home page you can see they have their own repositories and also use Ubuntu's. They have spent a lot of work in developing this product. I won't be using it, but I'm glad they took the initiative.
Very easy to criticize someone's hard work.
120 • RE: 118 (by Landor at 2009-12-29 05:23:23 GMT from Canada)
Actually, you're wrong.
It's relatively simple to remaster. Also, once you do and it's worthy, a community builds up around it, alleviating the workload.
When I first wanted to do simple remaster after returning to Linux from my long term break I found an article (from cyberpunkcafe.com, which seems to have disappeared) that was based on Ubuntu but gives the basics for a remaster of any distribution. Most people would consider that process hard(and it was simplistic) given the level of ease there is presently.
What does reading DW and/or anything About Linux have to do with discussing it? They're two totally different actions.
Keep your stick on the ice...
121 • KANOTIX (by Chris H on 2009-12-29 06:09:09 GMT from United States)
I'm trying out the new Kanotix.
It's carefully put together;
it's a shame that it's developer
hasn't advertised it on DistroWatch.
I had to follow the link in 'Latest Distributions'
and then 'Download Mirrors'
to get to the release announcement
and link to the 'iso'.
Kanotix doesn't even have an entry in the 'Page Hit Ranking'.
It's Kde 3.5.10 with Grub2;
I haven't used Kde 3.5 in a long time,
I'm kind of rusty at it.
Kanotix has sort of a Sidux feel to it.
The installer is unique, but it works.
The suggested hostname is KanotixBox, with Sidux it's siduxbox.
A script to install the nVidia video driver
is in /usr/local/bin,
the same place that you would expand 'smxi.zip' to.
The script worked very well,
I didn't have to use 'smxi'.
You use Grub2 the same way you use it with Karmic Ubuntu:
Create a menu.lst file with this special section:
## ## End Default Options ##
title kanotix GRUB 2
title Kanotix debian kde3 [2.6.32-9-generic] sdb5
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-9-generic root=UUID=e0f26d88-15f4-4512-a00d-13f39699f1cf ro quiet vga=791 splash quiet
### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
The 'keyboard' setting is temporarily set with a German/USA flag in the panel,
and permanently in the Control Center under 'Regional and Accessibility/Keyboard Layout'
It' a pleasure to use KANOTIX.
122 • RE: 118 • Re. 117 • re: Super O/S (by kRAZYpENGUIN on 2009-12-29 01:09:18 GMT fr (by kRAZYpENGUIN on 2009-12-29 10:01:17 GMT from Canada)
"If the "stuff" is useful, what is the issue? Have you tried it, and if so what specifically do you dislike about it ?"
It's useful maybe for somebody first trying linux, but then their is mint and a bunch more xxx-ubuntu spinoffs.
IMO it is overkill trying to put tons and tons of software in one dvd when it is easy to install off the repos what is needed.
Also I never said i dislike it that particluar distro, but some of the spinoffs are pathetic. At least mint has a defined purpose, a lot of the other ones are just ubuntu with a lot of bloatware and different eye candy, which can all be easily setup but the user.
I really used to like reading DW and anything about Linux, but lately there is just too much negativity when discussing Linux (MS shills perhaps).
This isn't negativity , it is constructive criticism. If linux is to gain on MS or MAC then it's structure and pieces need to work together more, not keep trying to fork the o/s to death.
What is wrong with working together towards a common goal and timeline, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel??
If a new *buntu comes out with a very defining purpose, then IMO it is a good o/s, since it needs to fill a niche.
123 • Salix (by mikkh at 2009-12-29 10:29:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Slackware based distros have always been my preferred choice, but I tend to stay away from monster DVD distros like the official version and the strangely named 'Frugalware' which is anything but frugal.
Salix comes as a 540 MB CD but it slightly defeats it's own object of being a 'lite' distro by including OpenOffice, which I personally have no use for and would rather not see included by default.
There's no live option, so you'll have to install it to see it - and it's worth seeing IMO. It uses XFCE, which has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and is no longer a poor third choice to KDE and Gnome.
A straightforward install if you've ever tried Slackware before, but it could have a few newcomers scratching their heads with the minimalist installer. There are very few decisions to make and I opted for the full install - when perhaps I should have gone for basic to exclude OpenOffice. (easy to say in hindsight!)
It installed in well under 10 minutes on this P4 3.4 with 1 GB RAM, but made Windows the default OS and it's short timer meant I missed it first time round. Hovering over the keys I caught it the second time and was greeted by a very nice login screen. Once inside it, I was happy with the lack of clutter on the taskbar - I hate being second guessed about what apps I (might) need access to and invariably spend the first few minutes in any new distro deleting unwanted icons and shortcuts.
Exploring the menus, I found an entry to install multimedia codecs in the multimedia menu and took advantage of that immediately. There were no clues as to what it was installing, but with Sun Java already installed, I guess it was installing Flash, libdvdcss etc and welcomed the no nonsense approach which meant I wouldn't have to be trawling through forums to get what I consider basic functionality.
The next job was to install a 'proper' graphics driver and here I found my first snag. The kernel source is not included by default and is locked in 'Gslapt' (the package manager) The Nvidia driver refused to install without it, so I went looking on the forums for help.
One simple command sorted it and I was then able to install the latest Nvidia driver for my newish 9400 card. (code below)
slapt-get -i kernel-source
Used it all day yesterday and found no problems on any of the sites I usually visit. Fast, stable and a joy to use
124 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-29 10:47:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref SuperOS and some of the comments.
Again we read of silly criticisms. If Super OS works for "you" then that has to be good news all round...might induce some more folk to take the plunge into GNULinux.
What Is interesting is the view expressed that "we" don't need yet another Ubuntu clone from some self appointed thought police, and, what should or should not constitute a distro...especially when those views emanate from the "land of the free"...whatever happened to freedom of speech or choice?
In addition, the above bland statement that distros are relatively simple to remaster. Really. Not everyone has the time or interest or skills to go down that route. And why should they?
The devs of SuperOS have almost certainly put some effort into making the Ubuntu experience more rounded and useful to ordinary computer users. This "bloat" thing exists only for those hobbyists who persist in using stone age kit.
The same goes for moans about "Mono". Most folk have no interest in distro politics or "purity"...they simply want their machine to work, leaving, hopefully, all the inadequacies/vulnerabilities of MS behind them. I know I do.
Remember, GNULinux is not just for the hobbyist faction. Nobody suggests that before you can drive a car/auto you must first become a qualified car mechanic, if only to change a flat tyre, say.
Were that the case, and without being sexist in the slightest, then there would be precious few women drivers...and then who would drive you home from the pub/corporate function/BBQ/party?
I say we should give a huge round of applause to those devs who work hard to bring GNULinux to the masses and for whom the GUI is a good thing thing and not just for wimps.
125 • Kanotix (by M1k at 2009-12-29 11:36:35 GMT from Italy)
When Kano said he was going to use an Ubuntu kernel...
I did choose Sidux.
Now Kano left the INSANE idea...so...
KANOTIX it's a real bomb!
126 • Re: Salix, 123 (by Reuben W. Perelman at 2009-12-29 13:44:46 GMT from United States)
I installed it in VirtualBox, and I must say that it is pretty nice. The first thing the installer does is drop you into cfdisk, which I like. Also, package selection is much simplified over Slackware. I don't particularly enjoy the expert package selection on Slackware, but the only other option is the full options which tends to install too much.
Also, I must say that I love the wallpaper. I know that not everyone here is happy with the amount of effort that goes into eye candy, but I love seeing distros popping up with beautiful desktops.
Slapt-get seems nice. I did a quick poke around to see what packages I could possibly download. No latex?
127 • SuperOS (by Redondo Beach at 2009-12-29 15:30:37 GMT from United States)
Regarding negative views of SuperOS.
Have you tried it?
It's one thing stating it's just another bloated Ubuntu remaster just by reading its features. Quite another if you come from a view after you installed it.
128 • No subject (by Alan UK at 2009-12-29 15:46:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
From what I can tell, SuperOS is the work of one individual.
129 • re: super o/s (by joe on 2009-12-29 16:01:04 GMT from Canada)
When I install an o/s I am looking for features and for a reason to install the o/s.
So if the distro creators don';t do a good job in advertising it';s distro, by stating why I should install it, then am I not to trust the creators of the distro. By spending time trying all the *buntus what does this accomplish???
Making a zillion remasters of *ubuntu obviously is freedom of choice, and it is also wasted energy. Working towards common goals is also more productive than a zillion remasters.
Car isn't really a good analogy. I use to use it myself, but really, a computer is a multi-task tool capable of much more of than just getting to point A to B.
Also at Mr Beach, the views of Super O/S isn't directed at Super/O/s, in which I do not mean not to use Super O/S.
Just the idea of combing our resources to make a really really good O/S instead of creating what has already been created (reinventing the wheel) would be more productive.
So Super O/S may be a good distro, I haven't tried it, I am just wondering what holes it fills out of all the *buntus we have already.
That should be stated by the makers of distros so that we don't have to try them. It isn't a guessing game, we can't read minds yet, so what makes this distro different than say Mint??
Different person putting the packages together??
At least mint makes their own software and adds it to the *buntu system. Mint serves a purpose, and that makes it innovative and productive.
Yes it does create work to make an o/s, I can also build a car from scratch, but I wouldn't want to (stole your analogy LOL).
More work doens't mean more results!!!
130 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-29 17:58:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
I cannot deny you use some logical arguments. But if nothing else having a slightly stouter (I'm avoiding the b word, lol) distro with stuff you don't have to d/l post install might suit some folk who have a slow connection and just want the whole deal of d/l in one hit.
However, (slightly t-i-c), then you entered fantasy land by suggesting there might be some sort of co-operation between devs. From what I read I would suggest most, rpt most, devs are fairly independently minded, not to say outspoken...you know who you are, AW of Canada.
Some devs, working on the same distro, have a difference of opinion between themselves from time to time, hence the many spin offs or forks or whatever you want to call them.
So it is small wonder if indeed SuperOS is the work of just one dev...no-one to argue with...and always having the final say.
And you forgot one thing, the dev of S.OS was also getting considerable pleasure and obviously some self satisfaction from creating his own version of a Uxx clone. You can't take that sort of thing away from anyone simply on the grounds of inefficiency surely?
I'm not a true hobbyist by any stretch of the imagination but I would not say all hobbyists are wasting their time and should only contribute to Ubuntu xx.
I just happen to believe if any distro is to replace MS it will be a Ubuntu of some name or another...although the animal concerned might be a zebra...
131 • Anybody out there? (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-30 00:21:45 GMT from United States)
Did nobody view the youtube video linked in #116 ?
This "Super OS" appears to be a prime candidate for a script, not a distribution.
Not many would replace an ubuntu installation with this, but they may be willing
to run a single script through a gui, to get those functions.
Am I missing something here?
Wouldn't a script be easier for the developer?
132 • No subject (by Landor at 2009-12-30 01:04:35 GMT from Canada)
Forest, you and others have to stop forming your own interpretation of what I state here. Comprehension is a trait that I think would be well served if people revisited what they were taught about it. I never stated that people had interest in it, nor did I state they had the skills (though they do indeed, though your comments leads one to believe they don't). I was responding to the false belief that it's hard to build a distribution, and especially one based on Ubuntu.
Here's the part I was responding to:
"You can build your own distro, but it is much more work than most Linux users realize"
(the above leads me to believe the person never once even looked at the simplicity there now is when it comes to remastering Linux, which is essentially the context of this discussion)
Here's the main point of my reply:
"It's relatively simple to remaster. Also, once you do and it's worthy, a community builds up around it, alleviating the workload."
As you can see, I never said they had interest. I replied to the falsity. To the point about skills, I have been finding it rather disturbing here lately of people having so little faith in others. I've stated it over and over, it takes two things to be able to do ANYTHING, but more so work with Linux, read and follow directions. I'll add one more to that, comprehend, which is the very core of reading. So, if anyone cannot read or comprehend on the most basic level, thus lacking the skills to use anything at all, they'd be well advised to pursue being re-educated instead of what they are attempting. Thankfully I believe most people in this world are able to read and comprehend. I would also take a very safe bet that the majority who even consider using Linux can do both of those.
Mint serves a purpose and is innovative? What purpose? You left that out.
More especially though, and I'm not attacking Mint at all, only your choice of words, how is Mint innovative?
Innovation in its purest form of the word means a new way of doing something. Yet, you first state that since it's serving a purpose, it's innovative and productive. A penny serves a purpose but in no way is innovative or productive. Sitting down serves a purpose but it's not innovative or product to do so. It can be argued it is, but only after the fact, being rested someone "could" become productive.
I think we should really leave the dramatics out of describing things, that's what leads to discussions like this that have the potential to lead to a flame-war, or some form of malice.
I'd also like to state that no tool can be productive. A tool is a tool, it's how it is used by a person that makes it productive. Thus, the person is being productive.
I watched the video and I thought it a far better process as a way to make massive changes to the desktop than manually. I agree though, this type of script should be made readily available and almost every Ubuntu (or other Linux) based remaster could be done away with, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu,Mint, SuperOS, etc, etc.
Keep your stick on the ice...
133 • RE: 132 (by Landor at 2009-12-30 01:11:53 GMT from Canada)
Just an addition.
Regarding the script, think of the bandwidth that would be saved all over the world if this was in place instead of everyone downloading a complete ISO.
Keep your stick on the ice...
134 • Re: 133 (by jake at 2009-12-30 02:40:48 GMT from United States)
"Regarding the script, think of the bandwidth that would be saved all over the world if this was in place instead of everyone downloading a complete ISO."
What? You mean people should actually learn enough about Linux to know what `diff` does? You're dreaming again, Landor ;-)
135 • Super OS (by ladislav on 2009-12-30 04:54:30 GMT from Taiwan)
Regarding the discussion about Super OS, I was stunned to see the number of visits on the Super OS page yesterday: a total of 6,234 clicks from unique IPs! That's more than what the Fedora page got on the day of its last release and the third highest of the year.
So if anybody still wonders whether this distro is of any interest to anybody, then the answer is a resounding YES!
Here is a list of the highest number of clicks on a distribution page in a 24-hour period (midnight to midnight UCT) in 2009:
1. 9,657 - Ubuntu (the day of its 9.10 release)
2. 8,958 - Ubuntu (the day of its 9.04 release)
3. 6,234 - Super OS (the day of its 9.10 release)
4. 6,075 - Ubuntu (the day after its 9.04 release)
5. 5,999 - Fedora (the day of its 12 release)
6. 5,936 - Ubuntu (the day after its 9.10 release)
7. 5,864 - Fedora (the day of its 11 release)
8. 5,604 - KNOPPIX (the day of its 6.0 release)
9. 5,401 - openSUSE (the day of its 11.2 release)
10. 5,341 - Fedora (the day after its 12 release)
11. 5,294 - Debian (the day of its 5.0 release)
12. 5,121 - Macpup (the day of its 3.0 release)
No other distribution page got more than 5,000 unique clicks in one day.
136 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-30 05:05:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
The problem here is that folk form their own interpretation of what anyone else produces or expresses or intends, be it a book or play or film or work of art.
For example, you must have read the comments regarding the "correct" definition of a distro. Despite all the arguments one way or another a distro is whatever you want it to be; on the grounds that any person is at liberty to build on top of any other distro and call it whatever they like.
A lot of your posts are often followed by a clarification from yourself, which is fair enough in its way...but if a lot of us interpreted, or misinterpreted, a point you were trying to make then it may be you aren't very practiced at getting a point across.
Your view, as another example, that remastering a distro is relatively simple is disingenuous to say the least. It is not relatively simple at all without you qualifying what you, personally, meant by "relatively".
Such an undertaking as remastering a distro needs a fair knowledge, some experience and most importantly it needs an interest in so doing.
Ref the points you have made in the recent past about Mint...you may not have intended to "attack" Mint...but more than one person feels you did.
With respect to your view about Mint not being innovative, hmm, actually it is, if you refer to Websters 1913.
Furthermore, if you label some distros as "kiddy" distros, and then have to explain what you really meant...
This is not criticism or malice or flaming but you do have a problem in expressing yourself on occasion.
137 • RE: 134-5 (by Landor at 2009-12-30 05:20:53 GMT from Canada)
You made me smile. My very first encounter with a diff file (though a more simple level) was my first time applying the FidoNet NodeDiff file against the Nodelist, then compiling it. That was around 1985 and I knew less about little. :)
I hope you don't take offence, Ladislav.
Knowing that the PHR had been manipulated in the past, and also knowing that it was said it had been done in regard to PCLOS (if I recall correctly) a couple years ago, I really don't take the numbers as accurate. I know you're an intelligent man as well Ladislav and I would hope you would at least consider there's a possibility to have them manipulated somehow.
That's accurate since I would believe you felt at one time it couldn't be manipulated, only to learn that it was. So it's a given that it "possibly" could be again, thus not really clarifying anything as a measure.
Keep your stick on the ice...
138 • RE: 137 (by ladislav on 2009-12-30 05:38:01 GMT from Taiwan)
No, you don't recall it correctly. I never found any evidence of wrongdoing with respect to PCLinuxOS page hit figures.
As always, feel free to draw your own conclusions. I thought that the figures were notable - that's why I posted them here. Maybe some readers will find them interesting.
139 • Linux Mint (again) (by Sertse at 2009-12-30 06:57:47 GMT from Australia)
It believe Mint's popularity (even if we are going to be ultra-conservative and assume manipulation) is evidence enough that it has a purpose, and that people like whatever it is it's doing.IMO, many of you are going it the wrong way. You really should be asking "what can I learn from Mint's success" rather than questioning why it doesn't conform to some standards of yours...
It's not "innovative", but it imo that is not as important as it being "successful". Perhaps that polish (some extra gui Mint apps, better theme, app selection, all round "user-experience integration" is all it needs?
As for scripts etc, perhaps it is a possible alternative. However, perhaps the fact it is an iso, that it works "immediately" is the reason what it's successful. If that true, could you accept that?
140 • @ 135 (by jake at 2009-12-30 08:22:08 GMT from United States)
"I was stunned to see the number of visits on the Super OS page yesterday: a total of 6,234 clicks from unique IPs!"
How many of those IP addresses were boxen that "clicked" more than the the page in question? If they were really unique IP addresses, what percentage might be open proxies? Methinks that somebody's gaming the system ... Super OS isn't all that good, nor does it really have much of a buzz down in the trenches of userville, not by any stretch of the imagination.
141 • 140 (by nero on 2009-12-30 09:33:23 GMT from United States)
Not being used? I have been using it as my main distro since the first days of the 9.04 version. I intend to upgrade to the 9.10 version within the next few weeks. I have also installed it on two other friend's computers. All of us have never been more satisfied. Everything is there and it all works. And I mean all!
My take on all this negative commenting is that it's just like a tv program/channel, if you don't like it change the channel and quit your bitching. Too much jealousy and envy showing in this comment section, every week.
142 • Kanotix (by M1k at 2009-12-30 10:20:42 GMT from Italy)
It's Holyday time...
if You put on the list NolinuxOs
You will get at least 5000 hits...
Strange?No...not at all...
SuperOS....Nembo Kid favourite Os?
143 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-30 10:51:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref #135 and then #140
This proxy business might apply to all the figures then, not just those manufactured by some manipulative people who want to give SuperOS a boost.
It seems like an enormous amount of effort to go to; would folk really bother?
Then in #141, nero confirms he and two of his mates use it. Nobody, even for a moment, would believe those folk are the only three on the planet to use this distro (by whatever name). So if those three own to using it then why not many, many more?
It is all very well to question such figures but what is the point? It's almost as though some folk want to talk GnuLinux down.
144 • SUPEROS (by caffein on 2009-12-30 12:03:56 GMT from United States)
HI Super OS Bye MInt !!!
145 • Super OS (by Sean at 2009-12-30 13:14:46 GMT from United States)
Well, it's now (as of 7:12 am central U.S. time) number 99 on the page hit rankings list.
Let's see how it does. :)
I suppose I should register my dismay at seeing a posting in here with the oft-repeated, "WE don't need another (fill in the blank) distro version, yadda-yadda, blah-blah..."
Who is this "we?" Microsoft worshipers? It couldn't be Linux kernel worshipers. ;)
146 • Super OS Mint (by Alan UK at 2009-12-30 14:10:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Have a look at the bit torrent numbers.
147 • SuperOS...Mint, etc. (by KevinC at 2009-12-30 14:32:19 GMT from United States)
On the subject of SuperOS, I feel distos such as this do no harm & actually gave it a d/l to test. I have h.s. broadband (8gb down) with no cap, so dl'ing and trying different distros is always a good way to pass the time. As to Mint, I look forward to a review...it's a popular distro, oft-times recommended for those new to Linux and has been reviewed on numerous other Linux sites. Distrowatch, being what it is...i.e, one of the premiere site covering FOSS/ Linux, would naturally be expected by many to review Mint (irregarless of my opinion related to this distro or other's opinions). Personally, I don't use Mint...I have to dual boot on a bedroom computer,..but it pretty much runs XP, as to stream Netflix Instant (Silverlight 2 based). On my box I run Karmic and Mandy 2010. I was digging Kubuntu, but after longer term use some bugs drove me away. For me (with my hardware), of all the big releases this fall, Ubuntu 9.10 (customized to my liking) and Mandriva 2010 are the best. OpenSUSE 11.2 (KDE) earns honorable mention, but I ran into bugs with it as well (esp. with Amarok) requiring some hard reboots. I love Mandy's iteration of KDE 4 as well---I guess b/c it's kind of 3.5-like. Of the smaller distros/ projects, SalixOS is nice, as well as Chakra. Enjoyed playing w/ the latest Slax Live CD on by netbbok...it's probably my favorite LiveCD distros. The point, IMHO, is having fun and the wealth of distros, and, yes even those such as SuperOS add to one of Linux' strongest assets: choice. That being said, I must try Fedora 12 next (other than the live CD experience) and maybe slog thru Arch again, for s**ts and giggles.
148 • 144 • SUPEROS (by caffein ) (by Redondo Beach at 2009-12-30 14:46:19 GMT from United States)
I'm just curious what you find in SuperOS that you miss in Mint?
I thought Mint had all the codecs installed. What does SuperOS bring that makes you want to switch. Thanks.
149 • Dedoimedo's new article of the state of Ubuntu... (by KevinC at 2009-12-30 14:46:24 GMT from United States)
Interesting read....agree w/ a lot of what he says:
150 • @132 (by Patrick on 2009-12-30 15:38:18 GMT from United States)
To the point about skills, I have been finding it rather disturbing here lately of people having so little faith in others. I've stated it over and over, it takes two things to be able to do ANYTHING, but more so work with Linux, read and follow directions.
I think you put your finger right on the crux of the matter here, but fail to see the significance of your own statement. "Read and follow directions." Maybe most people CAN read and follow directions, but I am convinced that a majority do not WANT to read and follow directions. For them, the "everything and the kitchen sink" distros are perfect. And why not? It is a solution for them and if Linux makes it possible to have a trouble- (read "setup-") free system, that's great for them and why should anyone care?
There are also plenty of people who either don't want to read and follow directions so badly that is indistinguishable from being unable to do so, or they really can't do it. It boggles my mind how many people actually are like that. If you haven't run in to any, consider yourself blessed.
151 • Re: #149 - The State of Ubuntu (by Anon on 2009-12-30 16:29:21 GMT from Norway)
The author of the article seems to be an obvious candidate for Debian, or Slackware. Funny he didn't mention alternative distros...
I agree with most of what he says and am a little shocked about what has been happening to Ubuntu. Then again, I'm using Arch, with small things to tweak every other week. Keeps me alert, I believe, and it's addictive...! :-)
152 • RE:138/143/150 (by Landor at 2009-12-30 17:33:43 GMT from Canada)
No, I wasn't incorrect, Ladislav. I never said they actually succeeded at that time, I commented, "it was said about PCLOS". Also, If I recall correctly again, they said they were going to stop and shortly after that the PCLOS numbers were dropping. You even stated in at least one interview I've read that people have cheated in an obvious fashion, then used more subtle ways to (not a direct quote). With that in mind it makes the PHR superficial at best. Oh, there was the whole Freespire/Linspire issue as well where they directly linked to their page here in three different areas, the browser's about page and two other links (buttons? I forget) that completely misled the individual on what it was linking to when they clicked it)
The above answers your question about would people really do that. To quote Ladislav, "the answer is a reasounding YES!.
Also, see below for my reply to your comment to me.
This is the point I made to Forest. I again never said they wanted to and was quite clear in my comment. I specifically explained to the person that he was in error. They stated that it was hard and a lot of work to make a distribution. That wasn't true at all, "if" someone wanted to remaster "most" distributions today it is quite easy and only takes the ability to read, comprehend, then follow directions. I never spoke of the people that wanted to, again, only the person who said it was hard was in error. It's quite easy for "those that want to".
I hope you don't take offence, but can you see how this one comment has been taken completely out of context by yourself and others? I'm not trying to be rude at all, but I think it was quite clear. I think the problem is many take their own personal feelings, and maybe factor in some of my skills compared to theirs ( believe some, not all, actually do) and then form their own perception(s) of what they believe I wrote based on those.
Keep your stick on the ice...
153 • Re 143 SuperOS (by Anonymous on 2009-12-30 17:53:50 GMT from United States)
it is very simple. you find less bloat-ware, there is no such thing as mint menu or mintupdate, or mint whatever
Mint linux Should not be a distro !! it should be a meta-package that you can install on top of ubuntu if you wish They just want to make money creating the ilucion of an new distro
154 • RE: 150 Again. (by Landor at 2009-12-30 17:57:12 GMT from Canada)
"There are also plenty of people who either don't want to read and follow directions so badly that is indistinguishable from being unable to do so, or they really can't do it"
I know an extremely intelligent woman that is in a roundabout way similar to this. She even laughs about it. Many times she's said that she doesn't "get it", etc, etc and that's just "guy stuff". She's also admitted that she doesn't think that at all, it's due to the fact that she doesn't want to do it, or learn it. Which I guess to someone who doesn't know the reason her first statements would make it undistinguishable as you stated.
In all truth though that's apples and oranges. It doesn't disqualify that with so much information out there that even a child who just wants a game to run, or a senior looking for a plugin to hit their favourite news site, can do so easily with the simple abilities as I've said. For the most part with all that information, all the how-to's, it really can just come down to simply copy and paste verbatim, if they choose to.
Keep your stick on the ice...
155 • state of Ubuntu (by forest at 2009-12-30 17:58:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the link KevinC, it is an interesting read.
I was amused to discover about how Ubuntu is to use a green theme...I can hear, almost, the old curmudgeons muttering that U10.4 is now a clone of Mint...if only in the colour scheme.
And in the link from a link, to ghacks, I was as amused to read how Ubuntu plans to encompass the whole get updates and get more software routine under their new USC application.
I can hear those same old curmudgeons rattle on about, "More dumbing down, bah humbug, whatever next? In my day you made up your own papertape, never mind about this new fangled magnetic particles on lengths of plastic tape ...what is the world coming to? Why, before you know it, just "anyone" will be using GNULinux!"
156 • @149 Nail on the head (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-30 19:05:45 GMT from United States)
The article sums up the state of linux in general, I believe.
People generally hate changes, especially when forced upon them.
Choose your favorite linux distribution, set it up just the way you like it, and in six to 12 months you will be forced to change it. Those visiting these pages thrive on these changes.
People who just want to do their work (or play) have NO interest in the operating system.
Witness the XP user base that refuses to change. These people know how to do their thing and have no interest in learning a new way. Especially it it cost them money.
How many of us have setup linux (any flavor) on freinds and relatives boxes, coached them into trying them, and a year later have to say: Sorry that isn't supported any more, Your have to change again.
157 • @156 There are other options...but none perfect, yet (by Fred Nelson at 2009-12-30 19:27:29 GMT from United States)
There is Debian, Ubuntu LTS, and CentOS and other RHEL clones for people that want to just use an OS and stick with it for a long time. Of course, the problem with that is that, in the Linux world, "the OS" also includes most applications so you end up with a very stale set of apps by the time the distro outlives its support window. Backports can alleviate that somewhat, but they're not a panacea.
What would be ideal for the type of person that doesn't read Distrowatch perhaps would be a distro with a frozen base system (e.g.: the kernel, GRUB, coreutils) that only receives bug fixes (a la the long-lived distros), but have all user-visible applications like Firefox, Pidgin, Amarok, K3b, etc... get updates within a week of when they're available upstream, assuming no show-stopper bugs. Think RHEL under the hood, but the up-to-dateness of Arch and the auto-configuration of Debian/Ubuntu on top. Said distro should be ideally supported for at least three years, about as fast as new Windows OS's are released (Vista aside...).
The grey area would be KDE/GNOME in such a distro; it's user-facing, but it is also foundational to a lot of apps. I personally would prefer a distro like that to be rolling with respect to the DE, but I'm sure that a lot of the target audience for such a distro wouldn't mind it being frozen.
158 • RE: 157 (by Landor at 2009-12-30 19:45:12 GMT from Canada)
I know you were discussing this for those that really don't want to do much but I'd even go a step further and on that wishlist add a base ISO. Other than the basic utilities for system configuration/management have a browser installed and that's all.
I also think that development of such a distribution should focus on helper or "one click install" scripts. Scripts that once activated are removed from the menu entirely.
This week here in the comments section people were given a glimpse of the power of scripting. It can do a whole lot more, easily. A simple about page when the distribution loads the desktop for the first time should give them information on the menu location of such scripts, explain what they do, and that once activated the menu entry will disappear.
I'm no legal guru by any stretch of the meaning, I do believe (and someone who is educated in this realm correct me if I'm wrong please) that scripting this way may circumvent some of the legal restrictions involved with distributing some application while still making it extremely simple to install them.
Keep your stick on the ice...
159 • No aplications (by omega on 2009-12-30 20:25:48 GMT from United States)
The problem with linux is NOT linux is the lack of great aplications.
when some one tries linux and they go back to windows most of the time is because the aplications they use are not ported to linux, and the ones on linux comperable are in diapers example Gimp Vs. Photoshop cs4
160 • @157: Long lived distros (by Jesse on 2009-12-30 20:57:41 GMT from Canada)
I was with you on the long lived distros. Linux distros like Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, which take a slow and steady approach are great for people who want their systems to just keep working the way they have been. Where I disagree is when you suggest freezing the base (kernel, boot loader), but updating other apps. A lot of end users don't want those updated either. Anything which changes the look/feel/performance of the machine is going to upset a lot of people. Having a distribution that will freeze everything and just provide security updates is ideal for most non-tech savvy users.
It's not the way I want to run my system, but for most people I know, they want a system where the interface never changes.
161 • RE: 136 - Forest (by Landor at 2009-12-30 23:06:33 GMT from Canada)
I forgot to mention I actually did look at the Webster's Dictionary and searched both the 1913 and 1828 editions at the same type for Innovation.
You were correct that the dictionary did have a definition that fit for Mint and made my point clearly. It was proven matter of factly, in fact.
"Innovation is often used in an ill sense, for a change that disturbs settled opinions and practices without an equivalent advantage."
I think that fits what I said about Mint not deserving a separate review before perfectly. The key words are "without an equivalent advantage".
Keep your stick on the ice...
162 • RE: 152 (by ladislav at 2009-12-30 23:19:51 GMT from Taiwan)
Sorry Landor, but you didn't recall things correctly the first time and you didn't recall them correctly the second time either.
There has never been any evidence of wrongdoing by any PCLinuxOS fans and they have never admitted that they've done anything to inflate their page hit figures. Quite the opposite - they always deleted any forum posts that linked to the PCLinuxOS page on DistroWatch (or even just discussed the PCLinuxOS page on DistroWatch) and have always discouraged their users from doing anything that would somehow inflate the numbers here.
I understand that you are sceptical about these figures and that's fine with me. But I don't think it's fair to accuse a distribution's users of wrongdoing (even if you precede it with "if I recall correctly") without any evidence.
I won't discuss this issue any further.
163 • RE: 162 (by Landor at 2009-12-30 23:35:23 GMT from Canada)
I'll no longer discuss it after this as well. I am correct though. It was said here in the comments section a couple years ago, and it really doesn't matter much since I'm not so bent on it that I'm gonna go that far back to look. I sure don't know if the person was just blowing their own horn, what I do know is it was quite curious that not long after PCLOS' PHR was dropping.
But one thing I do want to point out is that you're doing what most everyone does here with comments they don't agree with (especially mine), turn it into something else. I never said it was a PCLOS user. I honestly don't know if the person even used Linux for that matter. I said that it was stated here, "here is here in the comments section". I even remember you replying here about it. Nothing about PCLOS users, nothing about it being directly from PCLOS itself.
One more thing though, and I can understand why you wouldn't want to due to a viable advertising standpoint, you have twice now failed to acknowledge that the PHR has indeed been manipulated on more than one occasion, which you have previously admitted to in at least one interview. My scepticism is based on the actual facts that since yesterday it was it could very well be today.
Keep your stick on the ice...
164 • RE: 159 No aplications (by ladislav on 2009-12-30 23:58:47 GMT from Taiwan)
Sorry, but I can't agree with this viewpoint (which borders on FUD). If I ever find myself at a Windows computer needing to do some graphics work, I always download and install GIMP on it (even if it contains Photoshop already). I love GIMP, it's a fantastic piece of software that does everything I ever need it to do. Of course, I am not a graphics professional, but then again neither are 99.9% of computer users out there.
165 • Re 164 No Aplications (by Omega on 2009-12-31 00:53:43 GMT from United States)
Thank you Ladislav for taking you time to answer to my post.
I try to use gimp in a professional way but there are some thing that you would not be able to do it in gimp. you can compare gimp to adobe elements 8 i guess but not to Phoyoshop. + you can't use all those beautiful plugins for photoshop like:
and when it comes to video kino or cinerella would not do it, the output of the quality is not that good
maybe we need to start asking to the user what they want and not what we want. and to the people that went back to windows, why the switch back?
I do not think some one can complain about linux, so lets ask ourself what are we doing wrong?.
in my case the only reason I have a computer with windows is because the F.. adobe. virtualbox is great but you need a super computer to be able to work with heavy graphics .
166 • @165: Applications (by Jesse on 2009-12-31 01:40:00 GMT from Canada)
I agree that applications are a big point in winning people over. Most of the people I get to try Linux who go back to Windows claim it's due to a certain application that either isn't ported to Linux or doesn't have an open source equivalent. It's usually something related to their work.
In your comment, you wisely point out that "we" need to ask users what they want. Some projects do just this. The Fedora forum, for example, has a thread asking why people are still on Windows. Some of the more user-friendly distributions (Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva, openSUSE) have been pretty good about listening to feedback. Hymera recently ran a usability event where they got people to try out Linux and post feedback, if I recall correctly. So I'm happy to report many members of the community are trying. Granted, there is a long way to go, especially for professional apps, but I think those will get ported more often as Linux's popularity increases. Look at the Google apps that have been ported, for example.
167 • photo editing (by Reuben at 2009-12-31 02:13:49 GMT from United States)
Well I'm a photo student, and my preference for printing photos is with an enlarger and a tray of LPD. But for digital work I often have to use photoshop, as the gimp just doesn't cut it. The combination of ufraw+gimp works for images the I simply want to post of facebook or flickr.
168 • @162&163 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-31 02:42:24 GMT from United States)
I grep'd back to DW154.
DW 167 - something about Linspire
DW 176 - page hit ranking
DW 186 - unfair phr - not PCLOS
DW 217 - PCLOS ?
DW 275 - comments
DW 322 - comments & phr safeguards
I simply basically just: grep "page hit ranking" DW*
I'll leave it up to you to get more specific.
Oh, and reguardless of all the friendly quarreling, I still enjoy this site!
169 • Berry ? iso size and checksum | kanotix iso size? (by gnomic at 2009-12-31 02:55:51 GMT from New Zealand)
Anyone foolhardy enough to have tried the rather idiosyncratic Berry - I speak from past very mixed results - I got an iso image slightly different from the advertised size and a different md5 result. The resultant CD booted on one machine of three, but in Japanese language only. Anyone who can confirm the details on the website are correct?
Also, anyone able to say what size the Kanotix iso is? It claims to be a CD, but the network I'm on declined to download it as being over 800MB, a local limit for a single file. I tried for Kanotix-ooo3-2.6.32.iso
170 • RE:163 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-31 03:05:14 GMT from United States)
Better look at the DW archive pages.
Very briefly looked at those in re:168 and it looks so far like PCLOS is probably not the distro messing with the phr.
Click on them and check it out.
Some interesting bits are twoard the bottom of the page in the "Distrowatch News" sections.
This seems to go back to mis-communications and also perhaps the quote at the bottom of this page.
Why guess at this when this site keeps a full backup publicly available?
171 • Look to the future, not the past (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-31 05:39:15 GMT from United States)
What to Expect in 2010 (Christopher Smart):
172 • @171 (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-31 05:45:30 GMT from United States)
Tomorrow is another Year ! (couldn't resist)
173 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-31 17:47:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
Mixed results is a very apt description, lol.
From the blurb regarding earlier versions the dev has a mate who does the translation into English...needless to say his English is orders of magnitude better than my Japanese, but...
Anyway, I found the Japanese versions would load and install and run better than the English version, which ran "sort of"...
I tried the Japanese version out of desperation/curiosity to see if there was a difference twixt the two versions...apart from the language that is...
There is a difference and I would suggest the problem lies in the translation itself. Ref the check sum difference...possibly the "right" check sum for the "wrong" version. Dunno.
The dev has a wicked sense of humour (at least I think he has...) and, included amongst the snaps of kittens, dolphins(?) and berries there is one plant which used be classed (taxonomy stuff) "in" the Mulberry (Moraceae) family. However some would suggest it belongs here:
Whether this "Mulberry" had any "influence" on the "translation" is anyone's guess.
174 • sidux 2009-04 bug (by Chris H on 2009-12-31 22:34:54 GMT from United States)
I did an install of sidux 2009-04 xfce for x86.
The installer thinks that the system is UTC:
/etc/default/rcS shows UTC=yes
175 • Ubuntu-tweak gui for scripts? (by RollMeAway at 2010-01-01 02:12:54 GMT from United States)
Recently discovered "Ubuntu-tweak" , a gui to setup and manipulate ubuntu.
SuperOS-9.10 has ver. 0.4.9.2 , and
Deepin-9.12 displays ver. 5.0. Which is odd, as the website says vers 5.0 is not released yet.
ver. 5.0 has one button options to setup your computer as a server (mail, samba, LAMP, more).
One button to change to Edubuntu , kubuntu, xubuntu etc, desktop, and many more.
Interesting, especially after the recent discussion on using scripts instead of a new distribution.
I was ready to install Deepin just to play with ubuntu-tweak, but the installer is all Chinese.
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